Democrats speed up process for Inouye replacement - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Democrats speed up process for Inouye replacement

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii Democrats are moving to speed up the process to decide on three nominees to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, raising the possibility that the appointed senator could be sworn-in before other new senators in early January.

Dante Carpenter - the chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii - told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the party's state central committee will meet Wednesday morning instead of Friday evening.

Carpenter says the meeting was moved up because of the possibility that votes on federal tax and spending issues in the debate over the so-called fiscal cliff could be taken before the end of the year.

The announcement from Carpenter comes as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., released a statement Saturday asking the governor of Hawaii to appoint Senator Inouye's successor with what he termed "due haste."

Here is the complete statement from Sen. Reid:

"With the passing of my dear friend Senator Daniel Inouye, I have asked the governor of Hawaii to appoint Senator Inouye's successor with due haste. It is critically important to ensure that the people of Hawaii are fully represented in the pivotal decisions the Senate will be making before the end of the year."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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