Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie has appointed his lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, to succeed the late U.S. Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye.
Inouye was the senior member of the U.S. Senate when he died earlier this month at age 88. Schatz, who is 40 years old, is a former state representative and former state Democratic Party chairman.
He told the Honolulu Star Advertiser newspaper that he is humbled and honored by the opportunity to take Inouye's place. He said he would fly to Washington to be sworn in Thursday, in time to take part in any deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
Schatz was among three names that Democratic Party officials in Hawaii sent to Governor Abercrombie to consider. They included Inouye's personal choice, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.