August 30, 2023
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran (District 5, Wailuku, Kahului, Waiheʻe, Waikapu Mauka, and Waiʻehu) issued the following statement announcing his retirement from the Hawaiʻi State Senate, effective October 31, 2023:
"It has been an honor to represent my friends and family in my Central Maui communities in the State Senate and the State House of Representatives. And it has been an honor to serve with my Senate colleagues, both past and present, the Senate staff, and the people who have worked for me during the time I’ve been privileged to serve. I believe that this decision best serves the interests of the Maui people especially given what they have gone through over the last three weeks, and what they continue to experience. As we know, the Maui community — including members of my extended clan who lived and worked in West Maui — have suffered tremendous losses, including losing loved ones. Some, to this day, are still not identified or found. The choice for me has always been and will always be my family and community, and this decision is consistent with that overriding value."
Senator Keith-Agaran grew up in Paia and Kahului, where he graduated from Maui High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California Berkeley School of Law. Prior to serving in the Legislature, Senator Keith-Agaran served as the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations, the First Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and later the Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, and the Deputy Director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. He also served as Public Works and Environmental Management Director for the County of Maui.
In 2009, upon the passing of former Representative Bob Nakasone, Keith-Agaran was appointed to serve as the Representative for House District 9. He served the people of Maui in this position until 2013. In 2013, upon Shan Tsutsui becoming the Lieutenant Governor, Keith-Agaran was appointed to serve as the Senator for District 5 and has remained in the role ever since. He has been the Vice-Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee since 2018 and previously chaired the Judiciary committees of both the House and the Senate.
In accordance with State law, Democratic Party officers will identify three names that will be transmitted to Governor Green for consideration. The Governor will have sixty days to fill the vacancy.