Abercrombie will step down February 28 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Abercrombie will step down February 28

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rep. Neil Abercrombie says he will step down from his congressional seat February 28. The long-time representative announced in December that he would be leaving his position to focus on his run for Hawaii governor in the 2010 election.

The race is expected to be a heated one, with Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona already announcing his intention to vy for the seat, and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is also expected to run.

Senator Daniel Inouye initially expressed concern over leaving the seat in the House of Representatives empty during key decisions in Congress.

Monday in a press release, here is what Abercrombie has to say about his chosen date.

"Since announcing my intentions, I have consulted closely with the people I have worked with during my 19 years in Congress, including members of the Hawaii congressional delegation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the chairmen of two of my committees, the House Armed Services Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. These discussions have helped me to ensure that I will be able to fulfill the remaining duties requiring my presence in the House. This work, most notably, involves providing my continuing support for legislation on health care and the Akaka Bill. I've discussed with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton the transition of my chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces. I've also discussed the Akaka Bill with Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall who will continue working for all of us to move the measure to the House floor where it has received approval before.

"As a result of these discussions, I can now set the effective date of my resignation for February 28, 2010, which will enable state elections officials to plan for a timely and cost-effective special election for the First Congressional District to select a successor who will carry on the work of the people.

"The past few weeks have reminded me that my 19 years in Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Representative from Hawaii have allowed me to build strong, lasting, and life-long relationships with many colleagues on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill and throughout the federal government. Most of all, I have been privileged to be a part of an effective Hawaii congressional delegation which has accomplished so much to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii and nation. I take all of these experiences and friendships with me into the future, as part of a proven partnership involving the state government, Congress, and now the White House, to change the direction and leadership of our state."

The announcement comes the same day as Hawaii's Office of Elections meets with lawmakers to talk about the cost of holding a special election to fill the representatives place in Washington, DC.

That meeting starts at 3:00 PM. Hawaii News Now will be there, and will have the updates.

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