"Having served as chair of the Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee when the succession law was passed, I fully respect the process and the governor's right to appoint a successor," Hanabusa said in a news release.

Schatz will be sworn in on Thursday, making him Hawaii's senior senator, as Sen.-elect Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoZinke defends use of Japanese word: How could saying good morning 'be bad'? Duckworth on Zinke's improper use of Japanese: ‘Racism is not ok’ Zinke criticized for 'juvenile' comment at hearing MORE (D-Hawaii) won't be sworn in until the next Congress.