Politix.topix.com - Gov. Neil Abercrombie has picked Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to fill the seat held by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D), who died last week. The move goes against the wishes of the late senator, who publicly backed Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa as his successor.
Schatz was among 14 people who had applied for the vacancy, and one of three finalists considered by the governor.
Other finalists selected by the Hawai'i Democratic Party's state central committee included Hanabusa and Hawai'i Land and Natural Resources Deputy Director Esther Kia'aina. Hawai'i law stipulates that an appointed senator must be of the same party as this or her predecessor.
Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz will fill the seat held by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Schatz was inaugurated to his current post on Dec. 6, 2010. Before being elected lieutenant governor, he served for eight years as the CEO of Helping Hands Hawai'i, one of the state's largest nonprofit community social services organizations. From 1998 to 2006, Schatz served as a member of the state House of Representatives.
Schatz was raised in Hawai'i and graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Schatz will also likely leapfrog in seniority over the state's other new senator, current Rep. Mazie Horono (D). She's scheduled to assume office Jan. 3, but Schatz should beat her by a week or so.
State Senate President Shan Tsutsui said Wednesday, Dec. 26, that he was considering whether to succeed Schatz as lieutenant governor.