HONOLULU, Hawai'i (KITV) -- Hawaii State Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English announced on Tuesday that he will be retiring due to lingering COVID-19 effects.
“After many discussions with my doctors, talks with those close to me and careful thought, I am announcing my retirement from the Hawai'i State Senate, effective May 1, 2021.
In late November 2020, English contracted COVID-19. While his symptoms were mild, upon his return to Hawai'i, he noticed a change in his energy, along with memory challenges and a "fogginess" in his thought process.
Having been deemed a long hauler, English was diagnosed with long-term effects of COVID-19 -- requiring him to address challenges to his short and long-term memory and other cognitive issues derived from the virus.
At a news conference today, English said "One of the biggest triggers is stress, so what my doctor said was okay, you need to take the things out of your life that are causing stress. So this job is high stress, that is the nature of it."
“His twenty-five years of public service will leave a lasting impact on Maui Nui and the entire State," said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi, "I wish him the best of health and look forward to many more years of continued friendship.”
"As Senator English embarks on his next journey, I wish him well and look forward to a continued friendship. He truly leaves big shoes to fill,” added Representative Lynn DeCoite (District 13).
In accordance with State law, Democratic Party officers from the fifteen precincts in Senate District 7 will convene to identify three names that will be transmitted to Governor Ige for consideration. The Governor has sixty days to fill the vacancy.