HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Senate Committee on Water and Land rejected the nomination of Carleton Ching to chair the Department of Land and Natural Resources Thursday afternoon.
The governor's pick to head the DLNR faced a tough battle. The Committee of seven received more than 1,000 pieces of testimony by the start of this week, stretching the hearing into two days.
Ching's opponents worried about potential conflicts of interests for the longtime Castle & Cooke lobbyist.
"I oppose this nomination because I feel it will hurt the future of our state," said Sen. Russell Ruderman of Puna. "The nominee's entire career track has been the polar opposite of DLNR's clear mission."
Senators Laura Thielen, Russell Ruderman, Maile Shimabukuro, Les Ihara and Gil Riviere each voted against the nomination. Senators Brickwood Galuteria and Sam Slom voted in Ching's favor.