Who Will Succeed Inouye in the Senate? Hawaii Governor Will Choose

Civil Beat

With the death Monday of Hawaii's senior U.S. senator, Daniel K. Inouye, the responsibility to replace him falls to the man who served with him for 20 years in the U.S. Congress.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie will choose from a list of three candidates submitted by the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

The time frame is uncertain, but with the pressure of the impending "fiscal cliff" in Washington, D.C., and the swearing in of a new Congress on Jan. 3, an appointment could come quickly.

The challenge, however, as Civil Beat has reported, is that there are very few people in Hawaii considered qualified to take Inouye's Senate seat.

The select few include U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, 61, who was just re-elected to her second term, and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, 40, who has been in office just two years.

Hanabusa is said to have been Inouye's preferred candidate to take his place one day, and news reports following Inouye's death said the senator informed Abercrombie that Hanabusa should get his job.

Hanabusa spokesman Richard Rapoza said the congresswoman's office had no comment on any possible communication from Inouye to Abercrombie regarding succession.

"Right now, the most important thing is to mourn the passing of a hero and a champion of Hawaii and the nation and a great man," he said. "Let's focus on that today."

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