Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii

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Hawaii Lieutenant Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
Term limits:  2 consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Article V, the Executive Department
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Shan Tsutsui.jpg
Name:  Shan Tsutsui
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  December 27, 2012
Compensation:  $114,420
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  Appointed to fill vacancy
Other Hawaii Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorAttorney GeneralDirector of FinanceAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerDirector of Commerce and Consumer AffairsChairperson of Land and Natural ResourcesDirector of Labor and Industrial RelationsPublic Utilities Commission
The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch, and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of Hawaii. The Lieutenant Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two, consecutive, four-year terms.

Current officeholder

See also: Current Lieutenant Governors

The 12th and current Lieutenant Governor is Shan Tsutsui. He has served since his appointment on December 27, 2012.[1]

The office was left vacant following Brian E. Schatz's (D) appointment to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) on December 26, 2012. Schatz replaced Daniel Inouye (D), who died earlier in the month.[2]


The state constitution establishes the office of the governor in Article V, the Executive Department.

Hawaii Constitution, Article V, Section II'

There shall be a lieutenant governor who shall have the same qualifications as the governor...


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Per Article V, Section 2 of the Hawaii Constitution (quoted above), the lieutenant governor must have the same qualifications as the governor. Thus, a lieutenant governor is:

  • required to be at least 30 years old,
  • required to have been a resident of Hawaii for five consecutive years previous to election,
  • barred from other professions or paid positions during the term.


See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of lieutenant governors

Hawaii elects lieutenant governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For Hawaii, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all lieutenant gubernatorial election years.

Hawaii is tied with Alaska for having the earliest inaugural date in the nation. Legally, the inauguration is always held at noon on the first Monday in December following an election. Thus, December 6, 2010 and December 1, 2014 are inaugural days.

Hawaii is one of only three states, the others being New Jersey and Tennessee, where the Governor/Lieutenant Governor ticket is the only statewide elected office.

Term limits

The lieutenant governor is limited to 2 consecutive terms, after which a former officeholder must wait one term before running again.


If the office of lieutenant governor becomes vacant, the president of the Hawaii Senate accedes to the office. If he is unable to do so, the speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives is next in line. After the speaker, the line of succession is as follows: attorney general, director of finance, comptroller, director of taxation, and the director of human resources development.[3]

Hawaii Constitution, Article V, Section 4

...When the office of lieutenant governor is vacant, or in the event of the absence of the lieutenant governor from the State, or the lieutenant governor's inability to exercise and discharge the powers and duties of the lieutenant governor's office, such powers and duties shall devolve upon such officers in such order of succession as may be provided by law.

In the event of the impeachment of the governor or of the lieutenant governor, the governor or the lieutenant governor shall not exercise the powers of the applicable office until acquitted.

Hawaii Revised Statutes, 26-2

When the office of lieutenant governor is vacant by reason of the lieutenant governor's becoming governor, or the lieutenant governor's failure to qualify, or the lieutenant governor's removal from office, death, resignation, or otherwise, the powers and duties of the office of lieutenant governor shall devolve upon the president of the senate; or, if there is none or upon the president's failure to resign promptly from all legislative offices held by the president, then upon the speaker of the house of representatives; or if there is none or upon the speaker's failure to resign promptly from all legislative offices held by the speaker, then upon the attorney general, the director of finance, the comptroller, the director of taxation, and the director of human resources development in the order named; provided that any officer upon whom the powers and duties of the office of lieutenant governor devolve may decline the powers and duties without the officer's resignation from the office by virtue of the holding of which the officer qualifies to act as lieutenant governor, in which event the powers and duties will devolve upon the next officer listed in the order of succession.



The lieutenant governor becomes acting governor upon the absence of the governor from the state, or if the governor becomes disabled from duty. The lieutenant governor acts as the Hawaii Secretary of State, in which capacity he is the chief elections officer.

He has such other responsibilities and duties as the governor shall assign.


See also: Comparison of lieutenant gubernatorial salaries

At one point, the Hawaii Constitution dealt directly with the compensation of both the governor and the lieutenant governor. However, Article V, Section 3 was repealed by HB 1917 (2006) and the election held Nov 7, 2006.

In 2010, the lieutenant governor of Hawaii was paid a salary of [Compensation of state executive officers|Salaries of constitutional state executive officers|$114,420], the 14th highest gubernatorial salary in America.

Recent news

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Contact information

Constituent Services
State Capitol, Room 415
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813
Telephone: (808) 586-0221 or (808) 586-0222
Fax: (808) 586-0019

Lieutenant Governor's Office
Telephone: 808 586-0255
Fax: 808 586-0231

See also

External links