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Abercrombie Kicks Off Gubernatorial Campaign

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) formally launched his 2010 gubernatorial campaign this weekend, saying he wants to continue carrying out President Barack Obama’s message of hope and change. In a letter posted to his campaign Web site, the 11-term lawmaker said he’s not running for governor as a stepping stone to bigger things. “To me, the Governor is the cornerstone for Hawaii’s future. I know I can leverage my experience and relationships in Washington D.C. and use them for Hawaii’s benefit,— he wrote. “Running for Governor is the culmination of my lifetime of public service.—In anticipation of the open House seat that Abercrombie will leave behind, both parties have been gearing up for a competitive Democratic primary and general election in the Aloha State next year.Republicans feel like they have their best shot in a generation at picking up Abercrombie’s seat in the heavily Democratic state.Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R) is running, and he has been fundraising since forming a campaign committee in 2007. Djou, formerly the Republican floor leader in the Hawaii state House, has raised more than $150,000 for his campaign and visited Washington, D.C., to meet with party leaders. He released a statement this weekend that said Abercrombie’s move doesn’t change his plans. “I wish Neil Abercrombie well in his future race, but his decision to run for governor does not alter my decision,— Djou said. “I am running for Congress and will seek this seat with my message of independent change, regardless of whoever may decide to run and whatever race may open in the future.—Among the Democrats considering running is former 2nd district Rep. Ed Case (Hawaii). Case, a two-term Congressman, ran a quixotic 2006 primary campaign against Sen. Daniel Akaka (D), who won 55 percent to 45 percent.Case has been contemplating whether to run for governor or Congress again next year.In addition to Case, other Democrats who are viewed as interested in running for Congress include former state House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman, state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and former state Rep. Brian Schatz.

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