Kauai Democrats are submitting the names of Kauai County Councilman Luke Evslin and former County Councilman Mason Chock to Gov. Josh Green as possible replacements for former state Rep. James Tokioka, according to an official familiar with the party process.

Kauai party officials are also nominating Nikki Cristobal, founder and executive director of a nonprofit called Kamawaelualani that is focused on art, culture education and “community activation,” according to a person who declined to be identified because that person is not authorized to speak about the nominations.

1Representative James Tokioka WAM Finance mtg. 5 jan 2017
Former state Rep. James Tokioka stepped down Jan. 1 after Gov. Josh Green appointed him as a DOT deputy director. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Tokioka left office earlier this month to take a position as deputy director for airports of the state Department of Transportation, and party officials were tasked with nominating three candidates to replace him.

Green has 60 days from Tokioka’s resignation on Jan. 1 to appoint a replacement from that list of three names. The governor is expected to move quickly on the appointment now that the legislative session has begun.

Evslin was first elected to the Kauai County Council in 2018, and is a former Honolulu Civil Beat columnist.

Chock was first appointed to the council in 2013, and won election in 2014. He was then re-elected to additional two-year terms in 2016, 2018 and 2020, but was ineligible to run for re-election last year because of term limits.

A Kauai Democratic Party official said Wednesday all inquiries about the nominations had to be directed to state Democratic Party Chairman Dennis Jung, but Jung said Wednesday he could not confirm the names of the nominees because he had not seen them yet.

Green is also considering nominees for the Mililani House District 37 seat vacated by former Rep. Ryan Yamane earlier this month. Yamane resigned from the House to take a position as deputy director of the state Department of Human Resources Development.

The Mililani Democrats have nominated former Honolulu City Councilman Ron Menor, Trish La Chica and former state Rep. Charlotte Nekota as possible candidates to replace Yamane, but Menor died earlier this week.

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