Hawaii Republican Chair Resigns Following Official Account's QAnon Tweets

The chair of the Hawaii Republican Party has resigned after the state party's official Twitter account published posts about the unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory.

Shirlene Ostrov's resignation took effect on Sunday. The party's vice chairman for communications, Edwin Boyette, had sent the offending tweets on January 23 and resigned the following day.

Ostrov said she was resigning "to allow the party to recover from the controversy and focus on finding excellent candidates and fighting for policies that improve the quality of life for Hawaii's hardworking families."

"I believe the policies of the last four years will stand the test of time," Ostrov said in a statement.

"But having won many battles to continue improving America through conservative principles, we are at a crossroads."

The statement went on: "Since our 46th President was inaugurated, our party is redefining itself. We have a stark but important choice to make: either we rededicate ourselves to our Constitution and continue to defend and uphold our best American institutions and traditions or we get distracted by conspiracy theories and social media wars."

Full statement by HRP Chair Col. Shirlene Ostrov regarding former HRP Vice-Chair of Communications' recent unauthorized tweets and resignation: pic.twitter.com/yddVs181Yk

— Hawaii GOP (@gophawaii) January 26, 2021

One of the now deleted tweets sent by Boyette read: "We should make it abundantly clear — the people who subscribed to the Q fiction, were largely motivated by a sincere and deep love for America. Patriotism and love of County (sic) should never be ridiculed," according to the AP.

The Hawaii GOP tweeted a statement about Boyette's resignation on January 26 in which Ostrov took "full responsibility for the unauthorized tweets" and stressed the party's commitment to free speech.

"Promoting content for the purpose of shock value does not help us build a more perfect union, nor does it help a divided nation heal," the statement said.

"To our friends in the Jewish community, we find the comments to be deeply disturbing and offensive and have no place in our party much less our country," the Hawaii GOP said.

QAnon is a conspiracy theory that posits that high level Democrats and billionaires are part of a Satanic pedophile cult that eats children. It has been linked to anti-Semitism and appears to be partly grounded in long-running conspiracy theories about Jewish people. There is evidence to suggest that some of those involved in the Capitol riot on January 6 believed in QAnon.

Despite her resignation, Ostrov will continue to serve on the Hawaii GOP's executive committee. The party will elect a new chair in May and until then first vice chairperson Boyd Ready will take up the role.

Supporters of QAnon at the U.S. Capitol
Supporters of QAnon and crowds gather outside the U.S. Capitol for the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The chair of the Hawaii GOP has resigned as a result of QAnon tweets. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images