Why Abercrombie Didn't Pick Hanabusa

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Ten days after the death of Dan Inouye, Hawaii has a new U.S. senator. And it's not Colleen Hanabusa.

Instead, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to fill the seat.

"I make this decision with full confidence that Brian's appointment is in the best interest of the state of Hawaii and the nation," Abercrombie said Wednesday afternoon in the executive chambers of the state Capitol.

Schatz said he was "humbled and honored" to serve as a U.S. senator and promised to run for re-election in 2014. He said no one could possibly fill Inouye's shoes, "but together all of us can try to walk in his footsteps."

In making the appointment, Abercrombie noted, "These are challenging times for Hawaii." He was referring to the loss of Inouye who, he said, "gave a lifetime of selfless service to our country."

But more challenging times await, especially in local politics, and it's possible that Abercrombie may suffer down the road for his decision.

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