Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hawaii Governor names Lt. Gov to US Senate seat


From the AP: Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz of Hawaii was appointed Wednesday to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the appointment after receiving a list of three candidates from the state Democratic Party earlier in the day. The other candidates were U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Esther Kiaaina, a deputy director in the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Inouye died Dec. 17 of respiratory complications at the age of 88. He had sent Abercrombie a letter that day, saying he would like Hanabusa, 61, to succeed him.

"Sen. Inouye conveyed his final wish to Gov. Abercrombie. While we are very disappointed that it was not honored, it was the governor's decision to make," Jennifer Sabas, Inouye's chief of staff, said in a statement. "We wish Brian Schatz the best of luck."

Schatz, who is 40, will serve until an election is held in 2014. Had Hanabusa been appointed, a special election would have been needed to fill her seat.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had urged Abercrombie to name Inouye's successor before the end of the year. Schatz could be sworn in as early as this week, which would make him Hawaii's senior senator heading into the new Congress, which begins Jan. 3.

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