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State Senate chooses Donna Kim as new president

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:08 p.m. HST, Dec 28, 2012

The state Senate has reorganized behind Sen. Donna Mercado Kim as the new Senate president.

Kim (D, Kalihi Valley-Moanalua-Halawa) succeeds Shan Tsutsui, who accepted the post as lieutenant governor on Thursday.

Sen. Ron Kouchi (D, Kauai-Niihau) was tapped as vice president and Sen. David Ige (D, Pearl Harbor-Pearl City-Aiea) maintains chairmanship of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, the Senate announced today in a news release.

"We are solidified in dealing with the pressing issues facing our state,” Kim said in a statement. “The Senate continues to be organized in a cooperative and focused manner.  I’m humbled to receive the confidence and support of my colleagues."

Tsutsui, who as Senate president was next in line to the lieutenant governorship, succeeded new U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Schatz was appointed Wednesday by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to fill the vacancy left by the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

By law, Abercrombie must appoint a replacement for Tsutsui ‘s seat representing Waihee-Wailuku-Kahului from a list of three names provided by Maui Democrats from the vacant district.

Kim is a former state representative and Honolulu City Council member who has served in the Senate since 2000. 

In an interview, Kim said she never aspired to this post and was very happy with the Senate lineup that existed before Tsutsui’s departure.

She said she initially asked him not to take the job as lieutenant governor — “selfishly,” she admits — but when it became obvious that a real opportunity had presented itself for Tsutsui, “we had to adjust.”

The Democratic-led Senate said its organization remains mostly intact to allow members continuity in their committee work. One big change: the areas of emphasis for the Senate Committee on Tourism and Government Operations, which Kim had chaired, will be absorbed by two other committees.

Kim said the committee had been constructed for her and her strengths. She said having it absorbed by the other committees seemed to be the least disruptive option because “you couldn’t necessarily give it to the new person,” who would still be learning the ways of the Senate, and other senators were already slotted into their committees.

When a senator is appointed from Maui, the new member will take Kim's place as a member of the Ways and Means Committee.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Changalang wrote:
Congrats. Senator Kim has a wealth of experience on Ways and Means and all intricacies of keeping the State Senate humming right along.
on December 28,2012 | 10:11AM
MightyMakiki wrote:
Finally. She has impressed me as my councilperson, legislator, but not senator. All the best.
on December 28,2012 | 10:18AM
allie wrote:
Congrats! She seems very capable!
on December 28,2012 | 10:33AM
Aloha73G wrote:
Agreed, she has always been a politician I felt I could trust. She asks tough questions and persists until she gets a good answer.
on December 28,2012 | 10:39AM
false wrote:
on December 28,2012 | 11:22AM
kainalu wrote:
The Dragon Lady.
on December 28,2012 | 12:13PM
Venus1 wrote:
Looks like her taking on the Pres. of U H worked in her favor...
on December 28,2012 | 12:28PM
Changalang wrote:
Some believe it is better to look good investigating, then feel good acting on a solution. ;)
on December 28,2012 | 12:40PM
ohelo wrote:
Congratulations! You've proven to have good leadership abilities! Good luck!
on December 28,2012 | 01:32PM
ya_think wrote:
This is her 30th year as a elected public official.
on December 28,2012 | 02:02PM
palolo wrote:
on December 28,2012 | 02:40PM
tobyclairmont wrote:
She impressed me during the 'Wonder Blunder' hearings. Could this be the best part of all the recent moves, I think so. Keep up the good work Madam President!
on December 28,2012 | 03:02PM
moondog73 wrote:
The State Senate finally did something right. Congratulations Senator Kim!
on December 28,2012 | 03:05PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
She will do a far better job than Tatsui. At least he is now in a position that can do little damage to the State's economy.
on December 28,2012 | 03:20PM
tonosama wrote:
Next Governor for sure. No nonsense gal. Good for Hawaii.
on December 28,2012 | 03:50PM
64hoo wrote:
how do you know lets wait and see if she follows the same old dumbocrat machine in hawaii or cut spending.
on December 28,2012 | 06:26PM
krusha wrote:
I think she should run for governor in a couple of years.
on December 28,2012 | 04:27PM
Nevadan wrote:
Senator Kim performed a major contribution to the state by opening the windows to the stench from UH administration. Glad to see her as the new president of the senate. On the other hand, I would have preferred to see her in Washington DC instead of Brian Schatz
on December 28,2012 | 05:05PM
64hoo wrote:
stay in nevada you don't know what your talking about she could be another of the old demo machine that screwed hawaii the last 50 years lets see if shes a spend spend spend spend dumbocrat or a cut spending person.
on December 28,2012 | 06:31PM
Nevadan wrote:
Ignorance breeds contempt. Your English is pathetic!
on December 28,2012 | 08:41PM
64hoo wrote:
my english is good its your reading thats pathetic since your from nevada you no nothing of how screwed up this state is, over 50 years of dumbocrat control.
on December 28,2012 | 08:57PM
IAmSane wrote:
My English is good. It's your reading that's pathetic since you're from Nevada, you know nothing of how screwed up this state is. Over 50 years of Dumbocrat control.

No, your English is not "good," so I fixed that for you. ;)
on December 28,2012 | 09:44PM
IAmSane wrote:
Stay in Nevada. You don't know what you're talking about. She could be another oneof the old Demo machine that screwed Hawaii forthe last 50 years. Let's see if she's a spend, spend, spend, spend Dumbocrat or a cut-spending person.

Capitalized letters, punctuations (particularly commas, periods, and apostrophes), avoiding run-on sentences, and basic grammar will make you appear less not intelligent.
on December 28,2012 | 09:53PM
builderguy wrote:
She can be very good if she applied she golfing aspirations to her full time job
on December 28,2012 | 05:58PM
IAmSane wrote:
LOL do u even lift?
on December 28,2012 | 09:55PM
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