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Inouye Asked That Hanabusa Succeed Him In Senate

BY JIM DOOLEY - Before he died, Sen. Daniel Inouye asked that U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa replace him in office, Inouye’s office said.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye

Hanabusa was Inouye’s “one and only choice,” said Inouye press spokesman Peter Boylan.

The request was made in a personal message delivered to Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie in recent days.

Abercrombie, who must appoint Inouye’s successor, declined today to discuss the contents of the message other than to say it conveyed Inouye’s “love and affection for us all” and the senator’s belief that he believed he had "represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability.”

The governor must pick a successor to Inouye who will hold office until the next general election in 2014.

Under state law, the appointment must be made from three nominees selected by the Hawaii Democratic Party.

Possible candidates besides Hanabusa include former U.S. Rep Ed Case, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and even Abercrombie himself, a former Congressman.

Abercrombie stressed at a news conference on Monday that Inouye’s mental faculties were intact when Inouye sent the message.

"I believe that its important for everyone to know that the senator's thoughts and words were lucid and available to us right up until the very last minute," said Abercrombie.

Hanabusa has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since January of last year. She won reelection last month.

A close political ally of Inouye, Hanabusa, a labor attorney, previously served in the state Senate from 1998 to 2010 and was the first female Senate President.


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14 Comments for “Inouye Asked That Hanabusa Succeed Him In Senate”

  1. Daniel Inouye was a great Senator with a strong history of pubic service. He will be missed. One of the reasons why Inouye became such a great Senator for Hawaii was because of his strong military background and the fact that he first became a Senator when he was in his thirties. These factors allowed him to become one of the most senior and powerful Senators over his 50 year term.

    Tulsi Gabbard would be a much stronger choice for the State of Hawaii and for the National Democratic party than Colleen Hanabusa. Tulsi Gabbard would be the first Generation X/Y Senator and would give a new face to the national Democratic party as a female officer who proudly served our country during the Iraq war. She is a rising star and a non-establishment Democratic voice who earned national praise when she spoke during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this year. Colleen Hanabusa represents Hawaii's past. Tulsi Gabbard represents the promise of Hawaii's future and would do a much better job of communicating the Democratic Party's message to a wider national audience. Hopefully, Abercrombie will make the right choice.

  2. I'd like to hear a name that doesn't already come from the short list of Hawaii politics. I've lived here for 10 years now..the same people have been on every ballot in that time.

  3. Inouye's legacy of helping Hawaii will never be matched by any congress person. Yet, I agree that Hanabusa replacing him may have been a biased based on the friendship they had.
    Remember Hanabusa co-wrote this act below when she was legistative majority leader here.
    2009 retirement laws continued from state records.
    "Act 85 Salary Reductions
    • Reduces the salaries of the governor, lieutenant governor, judges, administrative director, State department directors/deputy directors, and members of the legislature by 5% for a two-year period beginning July 1, 2009.
    • On July 1, 2011, restores their salaries to the level that would have been payable on July 1, 2009 had their salaries not been reduced."

  4. [...] Dan Inouye, things might be very different. That’s because shortly before he died, Inouye transmitted a personal message to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a fellow Democrat, asking that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa be named as his [...]

  5. [...] Dan Inouye, things might be very different. That’s because shortly before he died, Inouye transmitted a personal message to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a fellow Democrat, asking that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa be named as his [...]

  6. Looks like a Japanese-American Medieval Kingdom where the Royalty chose their own successor. The Fix is In!

  7. Inouye's Senate position was not HIS! It is Hawaii's seat! He was elected to the seat and it is not his to bequeath. It is an elective position, not one of patronage. Now, having written that, the Governor should appoint Ed Case. He is someone of independent views which Hawaii will need going forward into the future not more of the old boy network.

  8. With our state having had two senate octogenarians - it was only a matter of time that one of them would retire or die. So here we are - with both of them gone - and we will soon see what happens when a state has senators with no seniority. Six years ago when Ed Case was running for Senate against Akaka a primary reason was he had experience in DC as a Congressman and concern that we had two elderly people in the senate. It was past time to get someone younger in the senate to represent Hawaii. Also, Time magazine had named Akaka as one of the worst senators at that time. The fact that Senator Inouye was angry thath Ed Case had the "audacity" to run for the senate without his permission is disgusting. What law says you have to "ask permission" to run for an office by another politician? Pure ego. Also, when word first came out that Inouye was in the hospital - it was discovered he had actually been in the hospital for several days. And his last dying wish was for Hanabusa to fill his seat? Seriously? His handlers are scrambling to keep control of this office.

  9. Ed Case should be appointed to fill the seat for the next two years and then run in 2014 to keep the seat. Ed has years as a Congressman and will give credibility to the office. Hanabusa needs to stay where she is, as a Congresswoman with only one year of experience at this point. If she wants to run for the senate in 2014, then let her run for it. I seriously doubt the "powers that be" are going to do the right thing for the people of hawaii. They are going to "go through the dog and pony show" of acting like they are reviewing the applicants - but in the end they will choose Hanabusa, which will cost the state a lot of $$ to run a special election for her seat.

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