State Rep. Blake Oshiro will leave the state Legislature on Dec. 7 to become deputy chief of staff for Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
During the 2009-2010 legislative session, Oshiro (D-Aiea, Halawa Valley, Halawa Heights, Aiea Heights) served as House majority leader, and is credited with spearheading legislation that led to the passage of civil unions in Hawaii. He was first elected to the House in 2000.
"I sincerely want to thank the Aiea community for giving me the privilege of representing them these last 11 years," Oshiro said. "I accepted the governor’s offer to become the deputy chief of staff because I believe in Gov. Abercrombie. I believe in his vision. I believe in his passion and commitment towards moving Hawaii forward."
Oshiro replaces former deputy chief of staff Andrew Aoki, who last month resigned along with Chief of Staff Amy Asselbaye. Oshiro will be the deputy to Chief of Staff Bruce Coppa.
""Blake Oshiro is a recognized leader in our community and a tireless public servant. His experience will be of great value to all of us," Abercrombie said. "Blake’s legislative background and commitment to do what’s right will help us move our agenda forward. I am very pleased and excited to welcome him to the team."
Under state law, the governor must appoint a replacement for Oshiro in the Legislature within 60 calendar days.
"I congratulate Blake for his appointment as Governor Abercrombie’s Deputy Chief of Staff," said House Speaker Calvin Say in a news release following the announcement. "Although Blake’s departure is a big loss to the House, his appointment to a major executive branch policy position represents a much bigger gain for the State of Hawaii.
"Blake’s dedication, intelligence, common sense, and compassion will be great attributes to achieve the betterment of all Hawaii. I will miss Blake as a Majority Leader and colleague. I will miss his daily advice and observations. Most importantly, I will miss his principles, unselfishness, and political courage which, even after 34 years in politics, were an inspiration to me."