The outgoing nominee, Chris Sadayasu, will return to the Department of the Attorney General.

One day after the Hawaii Legislature concluded its 2023 session, Gov. Josh Green announced his nominee to be director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

James “Jimmy” Kunane Tokioka is a former member of the Kauai County Council and Hawaii State House of Representatives with a background in the hotel industry. He left the Legislature last year to be Green’s director of the airports division in the state Department of Transportation.

“Director Tokioka is stepping up to help move forward important priorities for the state,” the governor said in a press release Friday. “He will immediately hit the ground running and foster collaboration amongst the various attached agencies at DBEDT.”

Chris Sadayasu, who was rejected by the state Senate for the top DBEDT job, will return to the Department of the Attorney General.

Another rejected director nominee, Scott Glenn of the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, “will take some time off to spend with family and will return to help the administration work on climate and environmental solutions.”

A search for Glenn’s successor is underway. Current administrator Mary Alice Evans will serve as acting director of OPSD.

Tokioka’s nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, but it’s unclear whether the Senate will meet in special session before the 2024 session that begins in January other than to consider judicial nomination, as is common practice.

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