Kai Kahele has officially assumed the seat vacated by his father, the late Sen. Gil Kahele.
Gov. David Ige announced the appointment Tuesday, and the new Hilo senator was administered the oath of office Wednesday.
Kahele told KHON2 he’s proud to represent his father in the Senate.
“Today was a great day. I’m really, really proud to be here and proud to represent my dad in the Senate,” he said. “My dad laid the ground work, so my objectives are his, and it’s getting his bills through the legislature and some of the projects that were important to him and are important to Hilo.”
Kahele is a major in the Hawaii Air National Guard and a combat veteran C-17 instructor pilot. He’s also a pilot with Hawaiian Airlines.
Gil Kahele died late last month at the age of 73.
An election will be held this fall to select a replacement who will serve out the rest of the term.
Pursuant to Section 17-3(b)(1), Hawaii Revised Statutes, I, SCOTT T. NAGO, Chief Election Officer of the State of Hawaii do hereby proclaim that a Primary Election will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2016 and a General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of nominating and electing a State Senator to fill a vacant seat, caused by the death of the Honorable Gilbert Kahele, from the Hawaii State Senate, First District, for the unexpired term which ends on November 6, 2018. These elections will be held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Primary and General Elections on those same dates.
Nomination papers to be signed by not less than fifteen registered voters from the Hawaii State Senate, First District, will be made available, beginning on February 1, 2016, in the Office of Elections and the County of Hawaii Clerk’s Office. Candidates to fill the vacant office shall file completed nomination papers not later than 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 in the Office of Elections or the County of Hawaii Clerk’s Office.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Hawaii to be affixed.
DONE at the Office of Elections, in Pearl City, State of Hawaii, this 26th day of January 2016
SCOTT T. NAGO, Chief Election Officer
State of Hawaii