[credit provider=”Official Hawaii Portrait”]
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie tonight appointed Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to succeed the late Sen. Daniel Inouye and serve out the remainder his term. Abercrombie’s choice surprised many people, because Inouye had personally requested that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa succeed him. Inouye’s office told Politico that it was “very disappointed” in Abercrombie’s choice.
In a press conference, Abercrombie said he took Inouye’s wishes into account but that “no one and nothing is preordained.”
Inouye, the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history and third in line to the U.S. presidency, died last week because of respiratory complications. He was 88.
Hawaii is one of three states where a mid-term appointment must come from the party of the member of Congress who left the seat vacant.
The Hawaii Democratic Party selected three choices this morning — Hanabusa, Schatz, and Esther Kiaaina, the deputy director of the state Department of Land and natural Resources — from which Gov. Abercrombie could choose.
Schatz was Abercrombie’s running mate in the 2010 Hawaii Gubernatorial election and previously served in the Hawaii House of Representatives and as the State Democratic Party chairman.