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Nonaka leads pledge at Republican National Convention

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Dylan Nonaka. (Photo courtesy of Dylan Nonaka)

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Hilo native Dylan Nonaka made his national debut Thursday evening at the Republican National Convention’s final night in Tampa Bay, Fla.

Nonaka, 31, led the Pledge of Allegiance onstage, joined by 20,000 people in the convention hall and watched by millions on television.

Decked in an impressive maile lei, Nonaka recited the pledge flawlessly to kick off the convention’s biggest night.

The UH Hilo graduate is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and is still with the Army Reserve in Hilo. He was among the first American troops to cross into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Nonaka worked as Gov. Linda Lingle’s liaison for Hilo, and is a former executive director of the state Republican Party. Last year, he served on the State Reapportionment Commission.

Nonaka now works as a political consultant in Hilo with his wife and two young sons. He is the son of bank manager Jay Nonaka and former County Council candidate Casey de los Santos, who both live in West Hawaii.

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