Gov. David Ige has appointed former Honolulu City councilmember Jon Yoshimura to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Will Espero who stepped down this year to run for lieutenant governor. The District 19 seat represents Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point on Oahu.
Yoshimura will only serve until the general election in November when voters will cast their ballots for his replacement. Yoshimura is not a candidate for the office.
Ige selected Yoshimura from a list of three nominees submitted to him by the Oahu Democratic Party. The other two nominees were state Rep. Matt LoPresti and Veronica Duzon, an attorney. LoPresti, Duzon and Alicia Maluafiti, who runs a nonprofit for pets and is a former lobbyist for Hawaii seed companies, are competing to win the Democratic primary on Aug. 11. The winner will face Kurt Fevella, the only Republican who filed papers to run for the seat and a member of the Ewa Beach neighborhood board.
Yoshimura most recently worked in the renewable energy sector for Tesla and SolarCity Hawaii, according to a press release issued by the governor’s office on Monday. He also served as communications director for former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, was a Honolulu City councilmember, attorney and reporter for KHON2-TV.
“I will use my experience as a former city councilmember and concentrate on constituent service during my time in office,” said Yoshimura, in a press release.
Ige said that Yoshimura has “the knowledge and skills to ably represent the people of this district until the new senator is elected in November.”