By Wendy Osher
Justin Howard Woodson of Kahului was appointed today to the recently vacated state House of Representatives seat for District 9, representing Kahului, Puunene, Maui Lani and the Old Sand Hills subdivision.
Woodson is also expected to hold the vice chair position for the House Committee on Housing  when the body organizes tomorrow during opening of the state Legislature, Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013 — according to an announcement by House Speaker-Elect Joe Souki today.
Woodson owns and operates Woodson’s Eco Auto Wash in Kahului.
According to an announcement of the new selection, Woodson previously worked within the real estate industry for Realty Executives Oahu and Prudential Locations LLC; fulfilled analyst and clerk duties for the offices of state Reps. Tom Brower and Mele Carroll and Sen. Carol Fukunaga; and served as special assistant to the state chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
Upon making the announcement this afternoon, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said, “Justin’s experience as a small business owner and his familiarity with the state Legislature will ensure continued and strong representation for the residents of Maui.”
In addition to his business and previous employment history, Woodson was also a former budget sub-committee member for the Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start program, former president of the Young Democrats of Hawaii, and former state coordinator for the College Democrats of Hawaii.
He currently serves as vice present of The Gospel of the Alpha and Omega International and volunteers for the King’s Cathedral Maui Children’s Ministry. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University Fullerton.
The District 9 House position was left vacant by recently appointed state Sen. Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran.
Woodson’s appointment is effective immediately.
Other individuals who were considered during the selection process included: former Maui mayor, James “Kimo” Apana; Anthony Edington; Renee-May Kehau Filimoe’atu; 2012 Kahului council candidate Alan Fukuyama; Kallie Keith-Agaran; and former Maui councilman and 2012 District 9 candidate, Joseph Pontanilla.