In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said that he doubted the late Sen. Dan Inouye wrote a letter later received by Abercombie recommending U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa as his Senate successor.
While clarifying that he did think it represented Sen. Inouye's thoughts, Gov. Abercrombie called the letter "problematic" and said that he received it, "ostensibly from Sen. Inouye himself," just thirty minutes before Inouye died in Washington, D.C.
"I think it was kind of created," Abercrombie told the Times. "I don't dispute for a second it represented his thinking, but it's far from being a dying wish, sent from Washington and signed and sealed by Sen. Inouye."
Abercrombie also told the L.A. Times that in more than one conversation, Inouye made it clear that while he preferred Hanabusa, the decision was ultimately up to Abercrombie.
Peter Boylan, the former communications director for Sen. Inouye who now serves as the spokesperson for Rep. Hanabusa's campaign, says the letter was written in the late Senator's own words.
Despite Inouye's wish, Abercrombie appointed then-Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz to the post instead. Schatz and Hanabusa are now vying over the same seat in the upcoming election.