Gov. David Ige has appointed Hilo High School football coach Chris Todd to fill the House seat left vacant by the late Rep. Clift Tsuji, the governor’s office announced Thursday.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve my community,” Todd said in a statement. “I look forward to the hard work ahead and will always keep an open door and mind.”

Chris Todd was appointed Thursday to the state House, filling the seat left vacant by the late Rep. Clift Tsuji.

The Hawaii County Democratic Party gave Ige a list of three names to choose from a week after Tsuji, 75, died on Nov. 15. The nominees were Moana Hokoana Keli’i, Stacy Higa and Todd.

Born and raised in Hilo, Todd earned a degree in economics and political science from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. His wife, Britney, teaches at Kalanianaole Middle School.

He held several positions at the Suisan Fish Market before becoming distribution manager for Hawaii Paper Products last year, according to a release from the governor’s office.

House Speaker Joe Souki said he was happy to support the governor’s appointment of Todd.

“Chris has big shoes to fill, but his business and coaching experience along with being born and raised in Hilo will give him a wide knowledge of the issues and concerns of Big Island residents,” Souki said in a statement.

“We miss Clift at the State Capitol but believe the District 2 seat will be in good hands,” he said.

Tsuji was chair of the Agriculture Committee, a role that Big Island Rep. Richard Creagan will fill next legislative session.

The 2017 session opens Jan. 18.

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