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Schatz Sworn In As Hawaii's New Senator

  • VOA News

The Pacific island state of Hawaii has a new U.S. senator, 40-year-old Democrat Brian Schatz, who succeeds the late Daniel Inouye.

Vice President Joe Biden led the swearing-in of Schatz Thursday in Washington.

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Schatz, who was his lieutenant governor, on Wednesday.

Schatz left Hawaii late Wednesday on Air Force One with President Barack Obama. The president cut short a family vacation to return to Washington for negotiations on averting the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and federal spending cuts.

Schatz has served as a state representative and is a former state Democratic Party chairman.

Schatz was among three names that Democratic Party officials in Hawaii sent to Governor Abercrombie to consider. They included Inouye's personal choice, U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa.

The 88-year-old Inouye, a Medal of Honor recipient, had served in Congress since Hawaii became a state in 1959. He served first in the House of Representatives, and then became a senator in 1963.

Some information for this report provided by AP.