Abercrombie ready for run at governor - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Abercrombie ready for run at governor

Neil Abercrombie Neil Abercrombie

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sunday was Neil Abercrombie's last day in Congress after representing Hawaii the past 19 years. Monday, he will file his nomination papers for governor and tonight he talks about what could be a heated race.

Ask Neil Abercrombie who he is and he will tell you he is profoundly grateful to have had the opportunity to serve Hawaii in politics at the state and federal level since 1974. Since then he's shook countless hands and spoke at tons of meetings in school cafeterias all hoping it helps him now as he runs for governor.

"I have no other agenda. My focus is totally on the governorship. I'm not running for another office. I'm not thinking about running for another office. I'm not going to gear what I say and what I do and what I stand for to try and fit into a political agenda down the line this is it," said Rep. Abercrombie.

With long hair and long beard he's lived in Hawaii since statehood. Some remember his outspoken days against the Vietnam War. It's ironic since he's been chair of the Armed Services Committee in Congress and is now highly recognized by the military.

"I never was opposed to the military, quite the opposite I felt the military was being used for political purposes and I thought that was not right," said Rep. Abercrombie.

"I had a pretty good reputation as a scrapper, as a fighter as an individual."

And now his fight in the Democratic primary could involve a former foe. Mayor Mufi Hannemann has already raised more than $2 million but has withheld information about a campaign.

"If you're raising money and talking to people, than do it! If you don't than that tells me right away what kind of person you are. That tells you a lot about what kind of politics you're going to practice. That you say one thing and do another," said Rep. Abercrombie.

The two already have a unique and somewhat bizarre history dating back nearly 25 years. Abercrombie won the special election to fill the remaining three months of Cec Heftel's term in 1986, but on the very same day he lost the primary election to hold seat the next full term to Hannemann.

"Whether it's the mayor or anybody else, I don't think its right to pretend. There's no such thing as an exploratory committee or anything like that, you're either running or you're not. If you are be honest about it."

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