Gov. Josh Green announced Wednesday that he is appointing public health advocate Trish La Chica to fill an empty House seat representing parts of Mililani and Kauai Councilman Luke Evslin to a vacant seat that covers Eastern Kauai.

La Chica and Evslin replace former Reps. Ryan Yamane and Jimmy Tokioka, who vacated their seats to work in Green’s administration.

“These are just tremendous people, I’m happy to have them in the House of Representatives,” Green said.

House Speaker Scott Saiki said La Chica and Evslin’s appointments bring the number of first-time House members to 18, the largest freshman class in 28 years.

La Chica said transportation and infrastructure will be among her district’s top issues for the session. Evslin will focus on reducing barriers to housing construction, a specialty of his on the county council.

La Chica and Evslin will serve the rest of Yamane and Tokioka’s terms, through the end of 2024. They’ll have the option to run for office again.

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald will swear La Chica and Evslin into office on Tuesday, Saiki said.

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