By B.J. Reyes
The appointment of U.S. Sen.-designee Brian Schatz to fill the vacancy left by the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye leaves a vacancy here in Hawaii in the lieutenant governor’s office.
According to the state constitution, the next in line to the state’s No. 2 executive is the state Senate president, who must make a decision “promptly,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said.
Senate President Shan Tsutsui (D, Waihee-Wailuku-Kuhului) issued a statement Wednesday:
“I understand that by law, as Senate President, I would be next in line to succeed Lieutenant Governor Schatz. I plan to discuss this prospect with the Governor and my family before making a decision.”
If he ultimately turns it down, next in line is the House speaker, followed by the state Attorney General and then state budget director.
House Speaker Calvin Say (D, Palolo-St. Louis Heights-Kaimuki) said he has not given much consideration to the possibility of succeeding Schatz.
In an interview, Say said:
“I’ll wait to what the senator has to say, but I haven’t made any statements. … Let’s wait and see until I get a call.”