State House Speaker Calvin Say and state Rep. Sylvia Luke met privately today in speaker’s fourth-floor offices as House leadership remains unsettled more than two weeks after the general election.
Say, (D-St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Wilhelmina Rise), has been speaker since 1999. Luke, (D-Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Punchbowl) , has been the leader of a dissident faction for the past several years.
Sources say the meeting produced no breakthroughs.
Say has locked down 24 votes to remain speaker, two votes short of the majority of 51 House members necessary. Luke has 16 votes. Three lawmakers — Rep. Roy Takumi, Rep. Jessica Wooley and Rep. Cindy Evans — have yet to commit.
Several lawmakers have described the situation as a stalemate, but Say and his allies have told supporters to be patient even if leadership is not resolved for several weeks. Say and his allies believe speaker still has the upper hand, so the situation may more accurately be described as a holding pattern than a stalemate.
The House Democrats’ uncertain leadership has yet to have much of a practical impact, other than keeping newly elected lawmakers from getting assigned offices. Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie has met with Senate Democrats, who reorganized earlier this month, but will not likely speak with House Democrats as a group until leadership is settled.