HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will apply for the Senate vacancy created by the death of Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, her spokesman said Wednesday.
Hanabusa, 61, is the early favorite for the post, having won the endorsement of Inouye, a fellow Democrat.
Inouye said in a letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie dated Monday that his last wish was for Hanabusa to succeed him. Inouye died that day from respiratory complications. He was 88.
On Thursday, Inouye will be the first person to lie in state at the Capitol rotunda since Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks and Gerald Ford.
Abercrombie will decide Inouye's replacement. His spokeswoman, Louise Kim McCoy, declined to comment Wednesday on how much weight the governor might give to Inouye's request in appointing his replacement.
Abercrombie will choose Inouye's successor from a list of three candidates submitted by the state Democratic party before an election is held in 2014. The party's central committee plans to meet Dec. 28 to select the candidates. The application deadline for prospective candidates is Monday. Under state law, candidates must come from the same party as the prior incumbent.
McCoy said Abercrombie has no plans to apply for the vacancy himself. Neither does retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is supporting Hanabusa for the job, according to his spokesman.