State House Democrats, meeting in private caucus, have chosen state Rep. Pono Chong as their new majority leader.
Chong (D, Maunawili-Kaneohe), was the majority whip. He replaces state Rep. Blake Oshiro (D, Halawa-Aiea), Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s new deputy chief of staff.
Chong, first elected in 2004, has been part of House Speaker Calvin Say’s leadership faction.
“Pono Chong is my choice to replace Blake as majority leader,” Say said in a statement. “Pono has worked very hard for the people of Hawaii and the House of Representatives, especially during the budget crisis of the past three years. As majority whip during those years, he was a major contributor in resolving the crisis through a balanced approach of budget cuts and revenue enhancement. Blake has recommended Pono has majority leader. I am confident that Pono will continue the standard set by Blake.”