UPDATE Jan 26, 2016: Gil Kahele Dead at 73
DF: Gil Kahele, American politician, Died at 73
HNN: Sen. Gil Kahele remembered as 'steadfast' advocate for Big Island
KHON: Hawaii Island Senator Gil Kahele dies at 73
AP: Hawaii state Senator Gilbert Kahele died at 73
HTH: Friends, family reflect on passing of Sen. Kahele
SA: State Sen. Kahele, the ‘epitome of aloha,’ dies
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Ige will select senator’s successor after nomination process
HTH: Responsibility for interviewing the candidates, who must be Democratic Party members within the district, will fall to local precinct and district officers. Barnes referred to the interview process as “speed dating.”
This will be the first time the county party has gone through it since Richard Creagan was appointed to replace former South Kona Rep. Denny Coffman in 2014.
At the time, party officials faced criticism for the closed nature of the party election and allegations of backroom deal making. The county party adopted new rules in 2014 aimed at making the process more transparent.
Barnes said the party is not looking to repeat those mistakes.
“We’re committed to making this an extremely transparent process,” he said. “We want to be above board as much as possible.”
An appointment won’t guarantee anyone the seat for long.
While Kahele’s term was to last until 2018, the vacancy will mean the seat will be up for grabs again during this year’s election.
“It will be a pretty short term,” Barnes said....
Office of Elections: Special Election Proclamation
read … Ige will select senator’s successor after nomination process
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Names surface for Kahele’s successor
HTH Jan 31, 2016: The appointment of a successor to the late state Sen. Gil Kahele could result in a game of political musical chairs, depending on who makes it through the Democratic Party’s nomination process in two weeks.
Party officials are expecting a crowded field of candidates for the traditionally safe seat, covering the greater Hilo area, and some elected officials already are being asked to put their names in for consideration.
Rep. Clift Tsuji, a Hilo Democrat who chairs the House’s Agriculture Committee, said he is among the sitting lawmakers being contacted….
While a sitting lawmaker could argue they have the experience to make a smooth transition, their appointment also would leave another seat vacant, prompting one more nomination process.
The vacancy was officially announced Thursday, starting the 21-day clock for the Hawaii County Democratic Party to select three nominees to replace Kahele….
The party plans to pick the nominees Feb. 13 after precinct officials in the district interview applicants that day at Keaukaha Elementary School. The meeting will be open to the public….
The appointee would likely have an advantage going into the primary and general elections later this year, when the district’s voters get to decide who fills the rest of Kahele’s term, which ends 2018….
Dennis Onishi, a Hawaii County Council member who is term-limited, said Thursday he was planning to apply for the appointment.
“I would want to apply when they open it up,” he said. “The only thing is, if Kai Kahele looks at applying, too, I would defer to him first,” Onishi added, referring to the late senator’s son.
If appointed by Ige, Onishi would join his brother, Richard Onishi, who represents House District 3, in the Legislature.
But that would also leave the council with an empty seat to fill….
read … Names surface for Kahele’s successor
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Kahele hospitalized, misses opening of Legislature
HTH Jan 21, 2016: An East Hawaii lawmaker was absent from opening day of the 2016 legislative session and will remain out until further notice, his family says.
State Sen. Gil Kahele, a Democrat who represents Hilo, checked into The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu on Monday to address medical issues and undergo testing.
Kahele remained in the hospital Wednesday, the first day of the 2016 session, and is not expected to return today. His son, Kai Kahele, declined to specify the nature of the medical problems but said his father became aware of them several weeks ago….
Kai Kahele said, “We’re hoping he’ll be back by next week, but it’s too early to tell.”
Gil Kahele, 72, was first appointed to office in 2011….
read … Kahele hospitalized, misses opening of Legislature
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SENATE OPENS 2016 SESSION WITH RENEWED COMMITMENT
From Senate Democratic Caucus, January 20, 2016
HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – Members of the Hawai‘i State Senate began the 2016 Legislative Session with a renewed commitment to create a better life for those who call these islands home.
Today’s Opening Session included an invocation by Pastor Matt Higa of New Hope, Kaua‘i. and the National Anthem and Hawai‘i Pono‘i being performed by Ms. Nalani Brun.
Among the honored guests in the Senate gallery were government officials from Fukuoka Prefecture, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, and State Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
“The function of the democracy is to embrace dissent and minority opinion to ensure that someone who has a differing opinion is not afraid to come forward and express those points of view,” said Senate President, Sen. Ronald D. Kouchi. “But at the end of the day, the primary function of the democracy is that the majority of us carry the day and move forward. So let us hope as we move forward in the 2016 Session we will be able to achieve those goals.”
Remarks on the floor were also made by Senator J. Kalani English, Senate Majority Leader and Senator Sam Slom, Senate Minority Leader.
STATEMENT ON SENATOR KAHELE
January 20, 2016
Senate President, Sen. Ronald D. Kouchi offered the following statement on Sen. Gil Kahele who will not be in attendance at today’s Opening Session:
“Senator Gil Kahele is currently in Queen’s Hospital where he is undergoing medical testing. Our thoughts and well wishes go out to Senator Kahele and his family. His family requests privacy at this time. Senator Kahele would like to say ‘Mahalo nui loa’ for the support, thoughts and prayers and he looks forward to returning to his Senate duties.”