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Hawaii Rep. Abercrombie to resign to focus on governor's race

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) indicated that he will resign his seat to focus full time on his run for governor in 2010, a move almost certain to set off a special election next year.

"I cannot claim the governorship should be a cornerstone of our democracy and not make the campaign for it the center of all my efforts," Abercrombie said in a statement on his campaign Web site. "My choice is to devote all of my time, all my energy, and my complete commitment to working side-by-side with you -- for all Hawaii."

Abercrombie is expected to make a formal announcement of his intentions on Sunday, although it's not yet clear when he will step down.

His likely opponent for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination is Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who has formed an exploratory committee.

Abercrombie's district leans Democratic. Since 1971, when the district was created, Democrats have held it for all but four years.

-- Chris Cillizza

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