Hawaii’s Governor Appoints Lt. Governor To Replace Daniel Inouye
To the surprise of many political observers, Hawaii’s Governor Neil Abercrombie named his Lieutenant Governor to replace Daniel Inouye in the Senate:
HONOLULU —Gov. Neil Abercrombie picked Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz Wednesday to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the late Daniel K. Inouye.
Sources with knowledge of the situation tell KITV4 News that Schatz was a finalist along with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and state Department of Land and Natural Resources Deputy Director Esther Kia’aina.
In a letter to the governor, Inouye’s final wish was for Hanabusa to take his place in the Senate.
Based on Inouye’s letter, most political observers thought that Hanabusa was the frontrunner for the appointment, so this decision is somewhat surprising. Given that Schatz himself is only 40 years old, it’s fairly clear that this was not intended to be a “caretaker” appointment and that we will likely see a contested primary for the Democratic nomination for Senator in 2014.