Aiona prods Abercrombie to accept his debate plan

HONOLULU (AP) - Republican gubernatorial candidate James "Duke" Aiona is pressing his Democratic rival to accept his plan for six, hour-long debates beginning Friday. Aiona, the incumbent lieutenant governor, on Monday released an open letter to former US Representative Neil Abercrombie urging him to agree to the debates during the general election campaign.

Aiona unveiled his debate proposal Sunday, and said the first would focus on jobs and the economy. He wants the other five meetings to occur on succeeding weeks and center on education, the state budget and spending, Native Hawaiian issues, health and human services, and energy.

Abercrombie's spokeswoman has only said the former congressman looks forward to debates with Aiona.

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