Political Radar


June 13th, 2014

George Okuda, a licensed civil and structural engineer who previously worked for the Hawaiian Electric Company, has been appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to fill the vacancy in the state House created by the appointment of Rep. Jessica Wooley to head the state Department of Health's Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Abercrombie made the announcement Friday in a news release. Abercrombie added:

“George has more than a decade of public service experience and has active legislative ties to the windward Oahu community. He will bring stability during this transition period.”

The district covers Kahuluu, Ahuimanu and Kaneohe in Windward Oahu.
Okuda has served as a legislative aide for state Rep. Ken Ito (D, Kaneohe-Maunawili-Kailua) since 2000, drafting, tracking and analyzing bills and resolutions, according to the release. He was also responsible for meeting and working with various state department personnel, organizations and constituents on measures before the Legislature.
Okuda has not filed papers to seek re-election to the seat and will fill out the term until the next Legislature is elected in November. Candidates for the open seat are Robert Harris and Jarrett K. Keohokalole on the Democrats' side, Eldean L. Kukahiko for the Republicans, Libertarian Kaimanu Takayama and non-partisan candidate Kana Naipo.
Wooley was appointed director of the environmental office in March and confirmed by the Senate by a 17-8 vote.

3 Responses to “Placeholder”

  1. Kolea:

    That was a prudent decision. The Democratic primary will be a clash along a major faultline within the Democratic Party, with environmentalists and progressives lining up with Robert Harris, who is likely to align himself with the Joe Souki-Sylvia Luke faction in the House, versus Jarrett Keohokalole, who will get backing from development interests, the GMO companies and the Calvin Say- Marcus Oshiro faction.

    The Governor was smart to step aside on that battle. He has enough problems of his own.

  2. nonpolitic:

    I also think the governor made a good choice, not due to the political repercussions that may possibly ensue, but because Mr. Okuda is a fine, hardworking individual who seems to be by all accounts very well liked by the legislators and staff in the state capitol. Good luck to him.

  3. Especially Incognito:

    Need a marionette who knows how to control
    electricity from wind fans. abercrombie is
    pulling strings as well as being the ventriloquist.

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