The Executive Committee of the Oahu County Democratic Party voted unanimously Friday to accept Hawaii state Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson’s application as a Democrat.

“We applaud the legislators along with party members who provided written and oral testimony and most importantly very intriguing questions to Representative Johanson,” the Oahu County Democratic Party posted on its Facebook page.

Oahu County Chairman Bixby Ho confirmed the news Saturday.

Flanked by House and Senate leaders Representative Aaron Ling Johanson announces that he is leaving the Republican party to join the majority Democrats who control the Legislature.  29 dec 2014. photograph Cory Lum/ Civil Beat

Flanked by House and Senate leaders, state Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson announces that he is leaving the Republican Party to join the majority Democrats.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Johanson, seen as a rising young star in the Hawaii Republican Party, shocked his colleagues last month by announcing his switch to the other side.

The minority leader at the time, Johanson explained that he wanted to seek common ground on issues rather than toe an ideological line.

Johanson’s defection reduces GOP numbers in the House of Representatives to seven, the same number they had last session. Democrats now number 44.

The 25-member Senate has a single GOP member.

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