Which Hawaii State Senators will receive two year terms in 2022?

Attention political operatives: If you believe my below assumptions are incorrect, please let me know asap. But I believe, I’ve figured out who will get those pesky two year terms. This potentially could impact which State Senators decide to retire…or not.

Perhaps this is common knowledge among insider operatives already…but the question of who would likely be getting a two year term versus the “normal” four year term has been bugging me. So…I took it upon myself to figure it out and began by reading the State Constitution (cited below at bottom).

For further background read: Unpacking the 2022 Hawaii Reapportionment/Redistricting Discussion –  https://garyhooser.blog/2021/07/17/unpacking-the-2022-hawaii-reapportionment-redistricting-discussion/

This is important – 

  1. Every State Senator is up for election in 2022.
  2. State Senate seats are normally 4 year terms, EXCEPT in the election preceding and following “reapportionment” that comes every ten years.
  3. The State Constitution (see below) seems to say that those Senators who were elected in 2020, “if practicable” should not be given a two year term in 2022.
  4. This seems to translate to the following list of State Senators who will be receiving a 2 year term if elected in 2022.
  • District #1 – Sen. Acasio
  • District #3 – Sen. Kanuha
  • District #4 – Sen. Inouye
  • District #6 – Sen. Baker
  • District #7 – Sen. DeCoite
  • District #12 – Sen. Moriwaki
  • District #17 – Sen. Nishihara**
  • District #18 – Sen. Kidani
  • District #21 – Sen. Shimabukuro
  • District #23 – Sen. Riviere
  • District #24 – Sen. Keohokalole

** Announced retirement and not running in 2022

Note there are only eleven State Senate Seats listed but the commission must assign twelve.

This may be related to two seats that had special elections to the remaining terms for District #16 Misalucha and District #19 Fevella 

*this point is unclear but both ran and won election in 2020

If the above calculations and assumptions are correct, then in addition to the eleven Senators listed above, a twelfth Senator will be chosen among the remaining fourteen who ran in 2020.  Thus this person would run 3 campaigns – 2020, 2022 and 2024. 

This is where the phrase “when practicable” is applicable as quoted in the state constitution below.  I assume this would be done by “picking a name out of a hat” or similar.

Hawaii State Constitution

Article 4 – Section 8. The reapportionment commission shall, as part of the reapportionment plan, assign two-year terms for twelve senate seats for the election immediately following the adoption of the reapportionment plan. The remaining seats shall be assigned four-year terms. Insofar as practicable, the commission shall assign the two-year terms to senate seats so that the resident population of each senate district shall have no more than two regular senate elections for a particular senate seat within the six-year period beginning in the even-numbered year prior to the reapportionment year; Translation: This seems to mean those running in 2020 and then running again in 2022, should not “if practicable” have to run again in 2024.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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