Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz of Hawaii has been appointed to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the appointment after receiving a list of three candidates from the state Democratic Party Wednesday.
The White House says Schatz was set to fly to Washington on Wednesday night aboard Air Force One, which was bringing President Barack Obama home early from his Christmas vacation as Congress considers what to do about the so-called fiscal cliff.
Inouye died Dec. 17 of respiratory complications at the age of 88. He had sent Abercrombie a letter that day, saying his last wish was for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to succeed him.
The 40-year-old Schatz is a former state lawmaker and a former chairman of the state Democratic Party. He will serve until an election is held in 2014.
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