Abercrombie names Schatz to succeed Inouye

Dec. 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM

HONOLULU, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie Wednesday named Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to succeed U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died Dec. 17 of respiratory complications at age 88.

Schatz, 40, said after his appointment was announced he would travel immediately to Washington and take the oath of office Thursday, and he intended to take part in Senate votes on a budget deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts, The (Honolulu) Star-Advertiser reported.

Schatz, a former chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii who was elected lieutenant governor in 2010, was chosen from a list of candidates recommended by the state party that included U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Esther Kiaaina, a state Department of Land and Natural Resources official, the newspaper said.

Inouye, who was elected to the Senate in 1962 and re-elected for a ninth term in 2010, had asked before he died that the appointment go to Hanabusa.

Hawaii voters will decided in 2014 who will serve the last two years of the term to which Inouye was elected in 2010.

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