Kouchi of Kauaʻi Takes on State Senate Leadership

May 6, 2015, 7:48 AM HST · Updated May 6, 7:49 AM
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By Maui Now Staff

Senator Ronald Kouchi. Courtesy photo.

Senator Ronald Kouchi. Courtesy photo.

A majority of State Senators on Tuesday agreed to have Senator Ronald Kouchi of Kauaʻi preside as its President, replacing Donna Mercado Kim. Senator Will Espero of ʻEwa Beach will continue to serve as Senate Vice President.

Senator Majority Leader J. Kalani English of Maui said organizing a body composed of 25 very independent minds is always a challenge, but one that the senate is able to handle with respect for colleagues.

Senator Kouchi was elected to the State Senate in 2012. He has served as the Senate Vice President, and has been Vice Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Vice Chair of the Committee on Tourism, and the Majority Caucus Leader.

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Prior to being elected to the State Senate, he served 22 years on the Kauaʻi County Council, including 12 years as Council Chair. He is also a former director of the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative and the Kauaʻi Visitors Bureau.

“All of us would like to thank Senator Kim for her leadership over the past three legislative sessions. She has served our state, our community, and our chamber well,” said Senate President, Senator Kouchi in a press release announcement.

Senate leaders say changes are also being made in committee leadership, with the focus toward making the best use of the Senate member’s experience, knowledge, and interests. Committee assignments will be announced when confirmed.

The leadership changes took effect immediately.

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