Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii leaves open a seat in the Senate to be filled by a Democrat, with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa the immediate frontrunner thanks to Inouye's wishes.
It also leaves a huge hole in terms of Hawaii's political clout.
Inouye had been the longest serving member of the Senate, and he chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, helping direct federal aid and resources to build up his still-young state.
His death from respiratory complications Monday, compounded by the retirement of Sen. Daniel Akaka after 22 years, leaves Hawaii with one of the most junior congressional delegations in the country.
Inouye's spokesman says it was the senator's last wish for Hanabusa, a fellow Democrat, to succeed him.