Gov. David Ige has appointed Troy Hashimoto, former chairman of the Maui Democratic Party, to the Maui House seat vacated by Joseph Souki, who resigned last month to resolve sexual harassment allegations.
Hashimoto since 2011 has been the executive assistant to Maui County Council Chairman Mike White. He was Maui County Democratic Party chairman from 2013 to 2017.
Ige said in a statement that Hashimoto would “bring energy and passion to representing” the district, which covers Wailuku, Waikapu, Waiehu and Waihee. Ige added that he has “a keen understanding of the issues that are most important to his community.”
“With a short period left in the legislative session, my top priority will be to advocate on behalf of the residents of District 8 to ensure their needs are represented and important projects are secured in the budget,” Hashimoto said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the community to make our home a better place.”
Hashimoto will serve out the remainder of Souki’s term, which ends later this year. Hashimoto has also pulled nomination papers to run for the seat in the upcoming primary election.
Souki had served in the House since 1982 and served twice as speaker of the House during his long political career. Under a settlement agreement with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, Souki, 86, agreed last month to resign, pay a fine and publicly apologize for his behavior after several women, including former state Director of Human Services Rachael Wong, accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct.
Hashimoto was one of three finalists recommended for the appointment. Dain Kane, who served four terms on the Maui County Council, and Joseph Wildman, an attorney with the Wailuku firm of Takitani, Agaran & Jorgensen, had also been nominated for consideration.