Kaua‘i Councilmember Luke Evslin to fill empty Hawai‘i House seat
February 14, 2023, 10:01 PM HST
Hawai’i Gov. Josh Green has tapped Kaua‘i County Councilmember Luke Evslin to fill a vacant Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives seat.
Evslin was among three Kaua‘i community leaders nominated for the District 16 seat, which represents portions of Kaua‘i’s East Side and South Shore. The state-level position became vacant late last year after former Rep. James “Jimmy” Tokioka resigned in order to take the position of the state’s Deputy Director of Airports.
The Governor’s Office has not yet confirmed Evslin’s appointment. Evslin declined to comment until a formal announcement is issued sometime on Feb. 15, but admitted: “The news somehow got out.”
The other two nominations for the open seat were former Kaua‘i County Councilmember Mason Chock and local nonprofit director Nikki Cristobal.
Fern Ānuenue Holland, a community organizer opposed to the planned construction of a hotel at the former Coco Palms resort, ran for election to the seven-member Kaua‘i County Council last November. She lost, coming in ninth place behind former Councilmember Ross Kagawa – but has already thrown her hat in the ring to fill Evslin’s shoes.
“The other 6 members will vote in his replacement. Anyone can be shortlisted for this and chosen, not just those that have ran previously, like myself, for Council. If it’s 3/3 I believe the mayor breaks the tie,” Holland wrote on Facebook Tuesday afternoon.
The County of Kaua‘i Clerk’s Office did not immediately respond to an inquiry regarding the county council’s timeline to fill Evslin’s seat.