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Attorney General Chin to Succeed Tsutsui as Lieutenant Governor

February 2, 2018, 7:12 AM HST
* Updated February 2, 10:18 AM
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Attorney General Doug Chin. Courtesy photo.

Democratic candidate Doug Chin (Hawai‘i-01), the state’s former attorney general, will succeed Shan Tsutsui as the 13th lieutenant governor of Hawai‘i.

By operation of law, Attorney General Chin became Hawai‘i’s new lieutenant governor today, Feb. 2, 2018, after former Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui resigned from office on Jan. 31, 2018, and other public officials in the order of succession declined the office.

Hawai‘i law provides for an orderly succession in the event of a vacancy of the office of lieutenant governor.

Upon Tsutsui’s resignation as lieutenant governor, Chin was third in the line of succession after state Senate President Ron Kouchi and Speaker of the House of Representatives Scott Saiki. Kouchi and Saiki each declined the position earlier this week.

Chin was nominated by Gov. David Ige to become attorney general in 2015 and unanimously confirmed by the state Senate on March 12, 2015. From Aug. 1, 2016, to the present, Chin served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General. On Oct. 28, 2017, the Hawai‘i State Bar Association awarded Chin the “Champion for Social Justice Award” at its annual convention.

The governor has appointed First Deputy Attorney General Russell Suzuki to serve as Acting Attorney General. By law this appointment can last no longer than 60 days. The next attorney general must be appointed and confirmed by the Senate, to serve during the remainder of the governor’s current term. Suzuki has been a deputy attorney general for 36 years, and has served as First Deputy Attorney General under Attorneys General Mark Bennett, David Louie and Chin.

“Public service is a privilege,” said Chin. “This was not my plan, but it is the order of succession and I am answering a call to serve. In 18 years, I have been a prosecutor and the managing director for the City and County of Honolulu, and Hawai‘i attorney general. Each opportunity has shown me how important and valuable the people of Hawai‘i are, and how critical it is for our leaders to find solutions and preserve Hawai‘i’s values.”

“My family and I have been humbled by the outpouring of support since I announced my campaign
for Congress,” Chin added. “Today, I am more motivated than ever to be Hawai‘i’s strong voice in Washington, D.C.”

“I thank Doug for his work as the state’s top law enforcement official and look forward to continued collaboration with him as he becomes Hawaiʻi’s lieutenant governor,” said Gov. Ige. “I have appointed Russell Suzuki to serve as acting attorney general and am confident he will provide expert direction for the department until I announce the appointment of a new attorney general.

Chin will continue his campaign to serve Hawai‘i’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He is vying to replace Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (Hawai‘i-01) who is stepping down to challenge David Y. Ige for the office of governor.

Hawai‘i’s current Congressional delegation includes two former Hawai‘i lieutenant governors with
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) holding the position from December 2010 to December 2012, and
U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) serving from December 1994 to December 2002.

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For more information, contact campaign manager Dylan Beesley at (808) 298-0615 or
[email protected].

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