Gov. David Ige on Thursday appointed Bennette Misalucha to fill the seat of Sen. Breene Harimoto, who died last month.
Misalucha, according to a press release, is “a community leader” who has held “key executive positions in banking, marketing, public policy and community outreach sectors.”
She has owned a business strategy and communications company since 2008 and is a former reporter, writer and news producer.
Her last role, according to the press release, was as an executive at Central Pacific Bank.
The press release did not mention that Misalucha was a lobbyist for the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association — the local seed industry — until August 2019.
Misalucha will take office “once the state Senate qualifies” her and administers the oath of office.
State Senate District 16 includes Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, Aiea, Royal Summit, Aiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Halawa and Pearl Harbor.
The governor selected Misalucha from a list of three candidates provided by the Democratic Party of Hawaii. The administration did not provide the names of the other candidates and deferred an inquiry to the party.
Kate Stanley, the interim party chair, said the other two names on the list were Jane Sugimura and Steve Canales.
“All three names submitted by the Democratic Party are proud and active Democrats in Senate District 16,” she said. “Sen. Breene Harimoto was a kind and dedicated public servant. District 16 will truly miss him.”
A special election to select a senator to serve the last two years of Harimoto’s four-year term will be held in conjunction with Hawaii’s Nov. 3 general election.
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