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Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Mizuno News: Green Picks Nepotistic Nominee for HD29 Vacancy
By News Release @ 2:36 PM :: 4201 Views :: Democratic Party

David Shapiro: Family ties pay off nicely in Green’s musical chairs

Shapiro: … The job switch is a financial boon for the Mizunos. John’s salary soared from $72,348 in the Legislature to $120,000 in the new job, with big potential increases to his state pension, while the House seat stayed in the family with May, whose pay as his office manager was listed between $70,001 and $85,000.

It has aroused public cynicism that May Mizuno’s appointment to the House appeared a prearranged part of a political deal, with other applicants never having a chance. She held a fundraiser for reelection before Green officially made his choice.

THE DISREGARD FOR STINKY appearances is a bad look for Green, who at times has come across more like a standard-issue machine politician than the breath of fresh air he promised….

The Mizuno deal is the latest in a string of his appointments that leave a scent of political insiders rewarding themselves in an incestuous cycle that thwarts change we need in our underperforming local government.

For a recent Maui Senate vacancy, Green chose Rep. Troy Hashimoto, former chairman of the Maui Democratic Party and executive assistant to former Maui Council Chairman Mike White. He got his House seat courtesy of an appointment by former Gov. David Ige.

To fill Hashimoto’s House seat, Green appointed Tyson Miyake, who served as chief of staff to former Maui Mayor Mike Victorino.

For a coveted state Supreme Court appointment, Green picked politically connected labor lawyer Vladimir Devens, who cruised through the nomination and Senate confirmation process without it ever being disclosed that he served four years as a director of a super PAC tied to the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, which spent well over $1 million to help Green get elected lieutenant governor and then governor.

As if we need more proof that money talks in handing out local political fruits.

Then there’s the matter of the shameless nepotism in the Legislature that allowed May Mizuno to serve 17 years as her husband’s well-paid office manager.

The Legislature passed a strong anti-nepotism bill that barred employees of the executive branch from hiring relatives, but lawmakers notoriously fond of employing family exempted themselves.

Ironically, the reform was inspired in part by the federal bribery conviction of former Rep. Ty Cullen, who was criticized for hiring relatives….

read … David Shapiro: Family ties pay off nicely in Green’s musical chairs

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Mizuno Legality: Dubious carve-outs from nepotism law

SA: … Office managers are often the one to succeed a lawmaker in his or her job — and the newly appointed state Rep. May Mizuno did have that role in her husband’s office before John Mizuno left to become the governor’s homelessness coordinator.

But isn’t hiring a relative banned for state employees?

It is, but the Legislature and Judiciary are exempt, according to the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. The nepotism law otherwise bars state employees from taking employment action affecting relatives or household members….

read … Off the news: Dubious carve-outs from nepotism law

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News Release from Office of the Governor, January 16, 2024 

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., today appointed Joje May Mizuno to represent District 29 in the State House of Representatives (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, and a portion of Kalihi). She succeeds her husband John Mizuno, who was appointed by Governor Green as the Coordinator on Homelessness in December. 

“I have known May for many years, and we have worked closely on several health care initiatives,” said Governor Green. “Her deep roots within the community and experience in legislative matters will make her a phenomenal Representative for District 29. She was selected from a list of three fantastic nominees, all with strong ties in the community, all of Filipino ancestry, and all leaders in their own right. That said, there was an overwhelming amount of support for May,” Governor Green said. 

Mizuno has served the public for the past 17 years as chief of staff to former Representative Mizuno. Prior to that she was a legislative aide for Hawai‘i State Representative Felipe “Jun” Abinsay. In her time at the legislature, she led the Hawai‘i Outstanding Advocates for Children and Youth Day Month for six years, and drafted H.B. 274, Patriot Day in Hawai‘i, honoring the victims of 9/11 and supporting our men and women in uniform, among a few of her many accomplishments. 

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve,” Mizuno said. “I want to thank Governor Green and I promise to work hard on the important issues for our state like affordable housing and healthcare. But also, I want to use my legislative experience to be a strong advocate to address issues like controlling the costs of living and fighting crime to make our communities feel safer. I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues at the Legislature to truly help make life better for our local families.” 

Mizuno serves on Neighborhood Board No. 16, (Kalihi Valley), and her public service extends to the Congress of Visayan Organizations, the Aloha Medical/Goodwill mission, among other work. 

Mizuno’s role as a Representative is effective immediately.  

Photos courtesy Office of the Governor can be found here

KITV: May Mizuno succeeds her husband as new House Representative for District 29 | Local |

SA: May Mizuno succeeds her husband as new state House representative | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (

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Josh Green Rubberstamp for Nepotism: Will A Mizuno Replace A Mizuno In The House?

CB: … May Mizuno is on the short list to replace her husband, John Mizuno, in the state House District 29 seat (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, portion of Kalihi).

It’s not unheard of for a family member to replace a family member in political appointments. But this one raises The Blog’s eyebrow, especially at a time when there is greater scrutiny of nepotism in state and county government.

The person who will make the final pick is John Mizuno’s old pal and new boss, Gov. Josh Green. John is Hawaii’s new homeless czar, while May has served as John’s office manager at the Legislature….

May Mizuno seems intent on being a state rep: She’s holding a fundraiser at Max’s Restaurant on Dillingham Boulevard this Thursday. Talk about measuring the drapes!…

read … Will A Mizuno Replace A Mizuno In The House?

Democratic Party Selects Three Names to Send to Governor Green for House District 29 Vacancy

News Release from Hawaii Democratic Party January 7, 2024

The members of the Oʻahu County Democratic Party’s House District 29 selection body – comprised of the party’s precinct officers and district council chair who reside in House District 29 – have selected three names to send to Governor Josh Green for his consideration to fill the House vacancy created by the resignation of John Mizuno from the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives:

● Edgar Fernandez, Program Specialist of the Workforce Development Division, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations;

● Joje May Mizuno, (nepotism) Office Manager for Hawaii State House of Representatives, District 29;  and

● Hernando Tan, Former Unite Here! Local 5 President;

These three names were chosen from a pool of three total applicants. These three names were formally transmitted to Governor Green this morning via an electronic letter. “We are proud to send the names of these three individuals to Governor Green for his consideration,” said Adrian Tam, Interim Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, “Each has proven experience as a grassroots leader and community builder, which will serve the district well during these challenging times.”

The vacancy selection body for House District 29 this past Saturday, January 6 at Kapalama Elementary School and via Zoom.

SA: 3 throw hat in ring to fill Mizuno’s district seat | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (

CB: The Sunshine Blog: Will A Mizuno Replace A Mizuno In The House? - Honolulu Civil Beat

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Democratic Party Outlines Process for House District 29 Vacancy

News Release from Hawaii Democratic Party, December 20, 2023

For an upcoming vacancy in a State House seat, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes §17-4(a) requires the Governor to make an appointment within sixty days - that is, by March 2, 2024 - from a list of three names submitted by the same political party as the prior incumbent.

In the interest of ensuring that the residents of House District 29 are effectively represented in the upcoming 2024 legislative session, the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi intends to proceed expeditiously in recommending three names to the Governor under the following schedule:

● A candidacy statement application will be available at as a Word Document and Google Form starting on Friday, December 22, 2023. The application may also be requested by sending an email to

● As part of their candidacy statements, interested Democratic Party members from House District 29 will be expected to submit their credentials and reasons for appointment to the position; evidence of party participation; and verified signatures of at least five (5) party members within the District in support of their candidacy.

● Candidate statements will be due on January 2, 2024.

● The party officers who form the Democratic Party House District 29 District Council will then convene on January 6, 2024 to consider the applications and determine which three names to forward to Governor Green.

The appointee must have been a member of the party for at least six months, and shall at the time of appointment be a resident of House District 29. The appointee will serve the remainder of the term until the 2024 General Election.


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