Friday, Sep 19, 2014    

Abercrombie appoints engineer to fill state House seat

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED: 12:02 p.m. HST, Jun 13, 2014

George Okuda, a licensed civil and structural engineer who previously worked for the Hawaiian Electric Co., has been appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to fill the state House seat vacated by Rep. Jessica Wooley.

Wooley left the post to become director of the state Department of Health's Office of Environmental Quality Control.

"George has more than a decade of public service experience and has active legislative ties to the windward Oahu community. He will bring stability during this transition period," Abercrombie said in a news release announcing the appointment Friday.

The district covers Kahuluu, Ahuimanu and Kaneohe in Windward Oahu.

Okuda has served as a legislative aide for state Rep. Ken Ito (D, Kaneohe-Maunawili-Kailua) since 2000, drafting, tracking and analyzing bills and resolutions, according to the release. He was also responsible for meeting and working with various state department personnel, organizations and constituents on measures before the Legislature.

Okuda has not filed papers to seek re-election to the seat and will fill out the term until the next Legislature is elected in November.

Candidates for the open seat are Robert Harris and Jarrett K. Keohokalole on the Democrats' side, Eldean L. Kukahiko for the Republicans, Libertarian Kaimanu Takayama and nonpartisan candidate Kana Naipo.

Wooley was appointed director of the environmental office in March and confirmed by the Senate by a 17-8 vote.

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Correction: House District 48 includes Ahuimanu, not Aliamanu as reported in an earlier version of this article. Also, the last name of nonpartisan candidate Kana Naipo has been corrected.

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