24 to 20

December 14th, 2012

State Rep. Karl Rhoads said Friday that he has joined Rep. Joseph Souki’s coalition of dissident Democrats and Republicans.

Rhoads, who had been pledged to House Speaker Calvin Say, said he was influenced by Say’s announcement on Thursday that he would step down. Rhoads said he was offered the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee under Souki.

“I accepted,” said Rhoads, who is chairman of the House Labor and Public Employment Committee under Say.

Souki’s coalition now has 24 Democrats, two shy of the 26 necessary for a majority in the 51-member House. Souki also has the support of the seven House Republicans, so his coalition has 31 votes to control the chamber.

Souki has said he would prefer to have a majority of the House’s 44 Democrats but would still honor an agreement to grant Republicans three vice chairmanships of committees if he takes power.

Rep. Marcus Oshiro, who Say has recommended as his successor, now has 20 votes.

Souki had said on Thursday that he would give Oshiro the judiciary chairmanship if Oshiro joined the coalition.

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