State Senate Vice President Russell Kokubun, (D-S. Hilo, Puna, Kau), may have the inside track for the Senate presidency now that state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa will resign and go to Congress.
But the behind-the-scenes debate is how to split the presidency and the Senate Ways and Means Committee chairmanship between the competing factions of Democrats. Either one faction has to get to 13 – a majority in the 25-member chamber – or partner with another faction to control the Senate.
Here is the state of play, according to several Senate sources:
*Update: Espero has pledged to the Baker faction, sources say. Hee is apparently still a free agent. Hanabusa said Thursday that she may weigh in but did not want to be the 13th vote.
*Slom is the lone Republican.
One of the factors in the mix is the likelihood that one or more senators will apply for posts in the new Abercrombie administration, creating openings in addition to Hanabusa’s replacement.