State Rep. Daynette “Dee” Morikawa, (D-Niihau, Lehua, Waimea), says she is open to backing state House Speaker Calvin Say but does not want to be the only dissident to break ranks.
Morikawa told Hawaii Public Radio’s Wayne Yoshioka on Tuesday – and us today – that she would prefer that more than 26 lawmakers resolve the stalemate. She said she would consider supporting Say if she is joined by at least a few others, but preferably more.
She said she is going away on vacation for a week and would assess the situation when she returns. “I want to see what goes on with the negotiations,” she said.
Morikawa made it clear in a follow-up conversation – after hearing pushback from our blog post this afternoon – that she will not budge alone. “I just know that I want more people happy,” she said. “I want to end this infighting. I want more people to be involved.”
Morikawa, a county parks and recreation worker active within the Hawaii Government Employees Association, was disappointed that Say did not reach out to her after her election victory. Morikawa defeated former Rep. Roland Sagum III, a Say loyalist, in the September primary and Republican Phil Sterker in the November general election.
Three of the four Democratic freshmen – Ty Cullen, Mark Hashem and Linda Ichiyama — have signed on with Say.
*Update: State Rep. Scott Saiki, (D-Moiliili, McCully, Kaimuki), one of the dissidents, said the dissidents — including Morikawa — have agreed to vote for speaker as a group.
“All 18 of us are a unit vote,” he said.