Hawaii 24/7 Staff
At least one dozen Democrats have applied to replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died last week at age 88 and after serving the state for more than one-half century in Washington, D.C.
Among the late entries on Monday were Ed Case, Esther Kiaaina, Blake Oshiro and Tulsi Gabbard.
Case is a former congressman. Kiaaina is deputy director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and worked under Case when he was in congress.
Oshiro is Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s deputy chief of staff, and a former state representative.
In announcing his intentions, former U. S. Congressman Ed Case (D-HI 2002-2007) said:
“Our Hawaii has never faced such a precarious position on Capitol Hill. I respectfully ask you to consider my experience, ability and commitment to take up and fulfill the challenge of serving as Hawaii’s next Senator, bot today and over the next decades.”
In the U. S. House, Case served on the Committees on Budget, Education and the Workplace, Small Business and Agriculture, and as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus Tax Policy and Budget Task Force.
U.S. Representative-Elect Tulsi Gabbard also announced Monday she is applying for the open seat in the U.S. Senate.
In a statement, Gabbard said, “In the military, I learned that ‘leadership’ means raising your hand and volunteering for the tough, important assignments. Senator Inouye did that as a young man, and he inspired a generation of young soldiers like me. Now it is our responsibility to step up, for the good of Hawaii. In that spirit, I place my name into consideration for the seat he filled so ably.”
Gabbard won the Democratic nomination for the 2nd Congressional District – which includes the Big Island – in November 2012.
Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim and State Sen. Will Espero previously announced they were applying for the vacancy.
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa also has applied after Inouye expressed his wish that she be appointed to replace him.
State officials hop Hawaii’s next Senator can be sworn in and be available for fiscal cliff and other end-of-Congress votes by Thursday, Dec. 27.
Three nominees are expected to be chosen by the central committee of the state Democrat Party on Wednesday and Abercrombie will make the final decision quickly.
The appointed senator serves until a special election is conducted in 2014.
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