Kahele tenders official resignation from state Senate ahead of D.C. swearing-in

Kai Kahele easily won the Democratic primary for the second congressional district.
Kai Kahele easily won the Democratic primary for the second congressional district.(Kai Kahele)
Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 12:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Congressman-elect Kai Kahele announced Wednesday that he has resigned from the state Senate, allowing Democratic leaders to move forward with filling his seat ahead of the 2021 legislative session.

Kahele, a former state Senator who represented the Hilo district, won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s general election. He’ll fill the seat in Congress currently held by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who announced she would not seek re-election while she was was running for president earlier this year.

He’s held the seat since 2016, when he was appointed to fill the seat of his late father, Gilbert Kahele, who died while in office.

“It has been an honor to represent and serve the people of Hilo in the Hawaii State Senate for the past four years,” Kahele said in a statement. “As a member of Congress, I look forward to continue working with our State leaders to rebuild our economy and create a more resilient Hawaiʻi for future generations.”

Honolulu Civil Beat reported last week that Kahele’s announcement allows party officers from the nine precincts in Senate District 1 to decide on a list of at least three names that will be forwarded to Gov. David Ige, who makes the final decision on who to appoint.

The chair of the state’s Democratic Party says that process could happen within ten days, Civil Beat reported.

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