Replacing Kahele: Local Democrats prepare to fill Hilo Senate seat

U.S. House of Representatives candidate Kai Kahele monitors election results at his Hilo, Hawaii, headquarters on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Kahele and his team have been following more than 50 state races and has connected with 33 potential future colleagues. (Kelsey Walling/Hawaii Tribune-Herald via AP)

The Big Island could be short a state senator when the regular legislative session begins Jan. 20, as the process of filling Sen. Kai Kahele’s greater Hilo District 1 seat can’t begin until he resigns.