Aiona has governor's race to himself as Abercrombie rests

HONOLULU (AP) - With Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie missing from the state's political scene in recent days, Republican James "Duke" Aiona has rushed into the vacuum with several press conferences and a debate challenge.

At his latest news conference on Friday, Aiona said voters should take into account Abercrombie's refusal to negotiate on the schedule and format of six debates that Aiona proposed to hold before the November 2 general election. Aiona, the incumbent lieutenant governor, said he has tentatively accepted two other planned debates but would not identify their sponsors.

Abercrombie's last public campaign event was Monday. An Abercrombie spokeswoman says he has been taking personal time away from Oahu.

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