HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Calvin Say has stepped down as speaker of the State House of Representatives.
Say became speaker 14 years ago, making him the longest-serving House Speaker since statehood. The 60-year-old lawmaker announced that he would no longer be a candidate for the post in a news conference Thursday afternoon.
"I did some soul-searching during the past four weeks in determining, 'Do I have the votes?' Recognizing there are 30 individuals who do not support me, and I needed the five more to get to the 26 (votes needed to retain the post), I decided to step down from the speakership," said Say.
"It's the best time, on behalf of the majority caucus, on behalf of the Democratic Party, on behalf of the people of Hawaii, that I do step down," he also said.
Say appeared with Rep. Marcus Oshiro, whom he endorsed as his replacement. Oshiro, 53, is the current Finance Committee Chair and former House Majority Leader.
"We want to get past this logjam where we are right now, and I believe that we can organize ourselves, the 44 Democrats, without forming a coalition with the seven Republicans," Oshiro said.
Last week House Republicans announced they would support Rep. Joe Souki as the next speaker. Souki was speaker before Say.
Nothing is official until lawmakers take a vote on the opening day of the legislature in January.