Hawaii lieutenant governor to resign, join lobbying firm

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Hawaii lieutenant governor to resign, join lobbying firm
File - In this Dec. 27, 2012 file photo, Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui speaks at a news conference in Honolulu. Tsutsui is resigning this week to join a lobbying and public affairs firm. The lieutenant governor said in a news release on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, he will return to Maui and work for Strategies 360. His resignation is effective Wednesday. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui is resigning this week to join a lobbying and public affairs firm.

The lieutenant governor said in a news release on Monday that he will return to Maui and work for Strategies 360. His resignation is effective Wednesday.

Tsutsui had earlier said he didn’t plan to run for re-election.

The Senate president and then the House speaker are next in line for the job.

Tsutsui became lieutenant governor in 2012, when then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed his own lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated when U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye died.

Tsutsui was Senate president at the time. He represented central Maui in the state Senate.

Under Abercrombie, Tsutsui lead a sports development initiative, took on tourism and had a seat at top strategy meetings.

Tsutsui was re-elected in 2014 to a four-year term when David Ige was elected governor.

However, in Ige’s administration, Tsutsui told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in 2015 that he wasn’t nearly as involved.

“I was involved in more strategic meetings; I was always involved in those things under the previous administration,” said Tsutsui said. “Under this administration, probably not so much.”

Ige told the Star-Advertiser that Tsutsui wasn’t kept in the loop because he himself wasn’t a part of the decision-making process. “We have a good relationship,” Ige told the newspaper.

Hawaii lieutenant governors have little power unless afforded it by the governor. The main role is to take over in case something happens to the governor.