December 26th, 2012

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.”

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