Abercrombie appoints Kahele to Big Island Senate seat

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointment Gilbert Kahele to represent Senate District 2 Tuesday.

Kahele fills the seat left vacant by Department of Agriculture Interim Director Russell Kokubun.

Senate District 2 includes Waiakea Uka, Kalapana, Volcano, and Kahuku on The Big Island.

"Gil is a respected community leader who understands the issues facing Hawaii Island and our state," said Abercrombie. "He has served the Democratic Party at a number of levels and has the ability to bring people together to address our common challenges."

Kahele, 68, served in the United States Marine Corps from 1960 - 1964. He retired from the Department of Defense in 2000 after 37 years. He worked for the DoD in the Public Works Division at the Naval Communication Station in Wahiawa and at the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island.

A former chairman of Hawaii County Police Commission, Kahele lives in Hilo where he is an active volunteer.

In 1996, he received the Rural Development Corporation National Award for community service.

Kahele served as the East Hawaii Democratic Party Vice Chairman in 2008.

He served as the president of Paa Pono Milolii, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources Na Ala Hele Advisory Council.

Kahele received his associate science degree from Laney College in 1967.

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