HONOLULU, Hawaii – Kaiali‘i Kahele has officially assumed his late father’s senate seat.
Kahele, bedecked in customary layers of lei, was sworn in to the Hawaii State Senate at the start of today’s regular session at the Capitol. Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald of the Hawaii Supreme Court administered the Oath of Office on the Senate floor.
Kahele will now represent the 1st Senatorial District (Hilo), filling the vacancy created by the passing of his father, State Sen. Gilbert Kahele, on January 26, 2016.
Kai joined Dolly Strazar and Kaloa Robinson as three official candidates chosen by the Hawaii County Democrats for the vacant seat. Yesterday, Governor David Ige announced his appointment of Kahele.
“Throughout my life, my father taught me the importance of community service and I’m honored to carry on his legislative initiatives,” said Sen. Kai Kahele in a Senate media release. “I’m truly grateful to the many people who supported my nomination and for the Governor’s confidence in my appointment. It’s a privilege to serve with the Senate. I’m humbled and I’m ready to go.”
Kahele already has his committee assignments. the young senator will serve on the Senate Standing Committees of Education (EDU), Higher Education and the Arts (HEA), Judiciary and Labor (JDL), and Tourism and International Affairs (TSI).