Former state House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan, who was the Republican lieutenant governor nominee, is the new executive director of the Hawaii Charter Schools Network.
The private, nonprofit group advocates for the state’s 31 public charter schools. Finnegan replaces Alapaki Nahale-a, who was nominated by Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie as director of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
Finnegan was an advocate for charter schools while in the House and during her campaign for lieutenant governor. Her daughter attended Voyager Charter School and her son is now in the sixth-grade at Voyager.
"My goal is to make sure the people of Hawaii understand the role that charter schools have in education," said Finnegan, who sees the experimental schools as offering parents choice.
Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona and Finnegan lost to Abercrombie and Brian Schatz by 17 percentage points in the governor’s race in November.
Aiona has said he will decide after the 2012 elections whether to run for governor again in 2014. Finnegan said she would consider running for political office again but has no immediate plans for a campaign.