He hopes to replace incumbent Governor Laura Lingle in 2010. From the Honolulu Advertiser-
As a campus radical at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa, a dissident at the state Legislature and a progressive in Congress, Neil Abercrombie has often been among those who have challenged power and questioned authority.I'm not a big fan of Lingle because of her support of the Akaka bill, but it is true Democrats have dominated Hawaiian politics since it got statehood. Abercrombie is no moderate, and he is a former Knucklehead award winner of mine. Moderate voters in the Aloha State would have to wonder how effective he would be as Governor if elected.
Abercrombie long ago made the practical choices necessary to work within the establishment -- to put on the blazer and tie -- but he still sees himself as an agent of change. As he runs for governor in 2010, Democrats will have to determine whether he can make the transition to chief executive.
Abercrombie said his campaign would focus on issues such as economic recovery, energy independence and expanded quality education. He said he would use his two decades of experience in Congress as leverage to help Hawai'i in Washington, D.C. He also said he would end what he described as the stalemate and rivalries between a Republican-controlled Washington Place and the state Legislature and county governments.
Republicans ask how any Hawai'i Democrat can legitimately campaign on the theme of change when Democrats have dominated the Islands since statehood. Gov. Linda Lingle was the first Republican governor in four decades when she was elected in 2002. Republicans believe Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, who is running for governor in 2010, can more credibly argue that he represents a break from near one-party rule.
As for the Hawaiian 1st Congressional seat Abercrombie will be giving up, Republicans don't have much chance of winning it. The last time it was seriously contested was 1994. I'd be interested in knowing if Senator Daniel Inouye plans to run for re-election next year. He will be 86 on election day.