Gov. Neil Abercrombie will have to decide whether to appoint U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz or Esther Kia’aina as Hawaii’s next U.S. Senator.
Hawaii’s Senior Senator Daniel Inouye died last week Monday.
As per a law passed in 2007, the Hawaii Democratic Party Central committee members selected their top choice for U.S. Senator and submitted the names to the Governor for his final selection on December 26.
On the day Inouye died, two of his leading supporters – Businessman Walter Dodds and Attorney Jeff Watanabe – delivered a letter to the governor from Inouye asking him to appoint Hanabusa as his replacement.
Abercrombie faces a tough choice between Hanabusa, Inouye’s favorite; Schatz, the governor’s own Lt. Governor; and Kia’aina, his Deputy Director of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Whomever is selected will be sworn in to office this week, making that candidate Hawaii’s Senior Senator by just a matter of days.
Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, was elected to replace U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and she will be sworn in January 3, 2013.