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The death of Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has left an open seat in the upper chamber, which could be filled as early as this week.

Although Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is considered the favorite to fill the seat — in a letter he wrote before he died, Inouye specifically asked Gov. Neil Abercrombie to pick Hanabusa as his successor — 14 people have applied to be considered as replacements, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii was one of the the last to throw her hat into the ring. For what it's worth, she also has the endorsement of Kal Penn of Harold & Kumar-slash-Obama White House fame:


The Hawaii Democratic Party’s State Central Committee meets on Wednesday. Afterward, it will send a list of three names, from which Abercrombie will pick Inouye's successor. CBS News reports that the governor will announce the replacement on Wednesday, which would give Democrats in the Senate a vote on any fiscal-cliff deal.

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