State Rep. Joseph Souki says he's next speaker

HONOLULU (AP) - State Rep. Joseph Souki says he has the support to be the next speaker of the House.

After a private caucus among Democrats on Wednesday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says the Maui Democrat remained confident that he will replace House Speaker Calvin Say after his coalition held firm during the caucus. It was the first meeting of House Democrats since the November elections.

Souki's coalition of dissident Democrats and Republicans has the votes necessary to control the House. However, Souki is temporarily one vote shy of being able to organize among majority Democrats alone.

If he were able to do so, it would make it easier for him to govern.

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