The Democratic Party of Hawaii will provide a list of up to three replacement candidates for Abercrombie to choose from. Inouye’s successor will serve until a special election in 2014 determines who will serve out the remaining four years of Inouye’s term.
Hanabusa was elected to a second term in the House in November.
The Associated Press late Monday confirmed with Abercrombie’s office that he received the letter.
"I cannot speak and will not speak for the family, but I believe it's important for everyone to know that the senator's thoughts and words were lucid and ... available to us right up until the very last minute," Abercrombie said. "It was not his faculties that were impaired at all. It's just that physically, he gave everything."
Inouye was hospitalized early last week after having difficulty breathing and was reported over the weekend to be in stable condition at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
His death, after nine terms in the Senate, came as a shock to his colleagues.