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.