East Hawaii News

Tsutsui Named New Lt. Governor of Hawai‘i

Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

A day after selecting Brian Schatz as Hawai‘i’s successor to the late US Senator Daniel Inouye, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced that Senate President Shan Tsutsui has accepted the role of lieutenant governor.

The appointment is effective immediately under the orders of succession.

The announcement came during a press conference this afternoon in which Gov. Abercrombie confirmed the role of Tsutsui as second-in-command of Hawai‘i.

Senator Tsutsui currently serves as the 12th senate president of the state. He is the first senate president from Maui as well as the youngest.

Tsutsui was elected to the Senate in 2002 to represent Hawaii’s 4th senatorial district. His previous leadership positions included the vice chair of Ways and Means and majority caucus leader.

Who Fills Senate Presidency and 4th District Seat?


Tsutsui’s step up in Hawai‘i government creates a vacancy within the Senate for a Central Maui senator, and a change in leadership for the body.

Those with close ties to the Democratic Party on Maui say the district vacancy created by Tsutsui’s departure will be filled by gubernatorial appointment.  In much the same way that the US Senate vacancy was filled, precinct officers from the vacant senate district on Maui would come up with a list of three names that would be submitted to the governor for consideration.

As for the position of senate president, party insiders say there are no statutory rules in place that point to an automatic successor. The identification of a new senate president, they say, would be an internal decision left up to the Senate to determine.

The 27th Hawaii State Legislature is scheduled to convene on Jan. 16, 2013.

Tsutsui Background


Born on Aug. 9, 1971, Senator Tsutsui graduated from Maui High School in 1989 and received a BA from the University of Hawaiʻi in Economics in 1994.

Outside of the Legislature, Tsutsui was employed as a business consultant for Atlas Insurance Agency, Inc.

He and his wife, Lyndelle, have three daughters, Mikayla, Kaylee and Kenna.

Below is a list of accomplishments and experience that Tsutsui brings to his new role as lieutenant governor:




  • Maui High School – 1989
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa, Bachelor of Arts in Economics – 1994


  • Business Consultant, Atlas Insurance Agency, Inc. – 2008 to present
  • Director of Marketing, Hawaii Investment Securities, LLC, a subsidiary of Wachovia Securities Financial Network – 2005 to 2009
  • Owner/Operator, Keiki Time – 2001 to 2008
  • Financial Advisor, UBS Paine Webber – 1998 to 2004
  • Financial Advisor, Prudential Securities – 1996 to 1998
  • Financial Advisor, Manulife Financial – 1994 to 1996


  • Elected to the Hawaii State Senate in 2002
  • 4th Senatorial District, Maui – Kahului, Wailuku, Paia and Lower Paia



  • Ways and Means, Vice-Chair
  • Health, Member
  • Education, Member
  • Human Services, Member


  • Ways and Means, Vice-Chair
  • Education and Military Affairs, Member
  • Health, Member
  • Tourism, Member
  • Senate Leadership – Majority Caucus Leader


  • Ways and Means, Vice-Chair
  • Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, Vice-Chair
  • Tourism and Government Operations, Member
  • Transportation and International Affairs, Member
  • Senate Leadership – Majority Caucus Leader


  • Ways and Means, Vice-Chair
  • Education and Housing, Member
  • Tourism, Member
  • Senate Leadership – Majority Caucus Leader


  • Member, Board of Directors, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (2002-2007)
  • Member, Maui Young Business Round Table (2001-present)
  • 2011 HSAC Legislator of the Year
  • 2011 HMA award for Legislative Leadership
  • 2010 MDBD Tutor Sponsor

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments