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Six apply to succeed Tsutsui in state Senate

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:11 p.m. HST, Jan 4, 2013

Six Democrats on Maui have applied for the state Senate vacancy created by the promotion of former Senate President Shan Tsutsui to lieutenant governor, the county party announced this week.

The applicants are Loretta Giannotti, Robert George Hill III, Natalie A. Kama, state Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, Clifford R. Libed and Mary D. Wagner, the Maui Democratic Party said Thursday in a news release.

The vacancy is in Senate District 5, Waihee-Wailuku-Kahului.

A nominating committee of about 30 district and precinct officers from within the district is scheduled to meet Saturday to select three names to forward to Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

The governor has 60 calendar days from the time the seat becomes vacant to appoint a successor from a list of three nominees provided by the party, the release said.

Each candidate will be given up to 10 minutes to address the committee. 

Tsutsui accepted last week the promotion to lieutenant governor, succeeding former Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. Schatz was appointed Dec. 26 by Abercrombie to fill the vacancy left by the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

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