Guess Who’s Picking Hawaii’s Next U.S. Senator?

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Before Gov. Neil Abercrombie selects a successor for the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the Democratic Party of Hawaii's State Central Committee will be the primary vetting chamber.

The central committee, which is made up of 82 Democrats, is not often in the news. It serves essentially as a board of directors of the party. Twelve members of the SCC also comprise an executive committee — top officers empowered to make decisions when there is not sufficient time for SCC members to meet.

The SCC's duties include matters such as deciding whether a party member wanting to run for office meets party requirements.

The committee made headlines this spring when it rejected Laura Thielen's approval to run for the state Senate; Thielen ran and won anyway, and the party later decided not to pursue legal action. The SCC was ridiculed by some Democrats for rejecting Thielen but praised by others for adhering to party rules.

With the death of Inouye, the partisan group is now charged with a far more significant decision: selecting three names of possible replacements to put on the governor's desk.

This is a big decision for the state, and one that will likely reverberate through the Hawaiian isles for decades.

In light of this, Civil Beat thought it was appropriate to let our readers know who's putting together the succession pool for Abercrombie.

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