Neil Abercrombie for Governor

Last July, journalist and columnist Bob Jones said you could “bet on it”: longtime U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie would run for governor.

Even though Abercrombie said no to challenging Gov. Linda Lingle in 2006, it looks like the time is right for a run in 2010. There has yet to be an official announcement, but Abercrombie has been open about the prospect… and former local reporter Angela Keen said that he flat-out confirmed his gubernatorial run tonight during a performance at “Frost Nixon” at Manoa Valley Theater.

When Abercrombie declined to run in 2006, Hawaii Democrats were unable to put up much of a fight against Lingle’s reelection.  But Abercrombie has long said Lingle’s support is flimsier than it looks… perhaps especially now. Abercrombie has been taking Lingle to task for dissing Hawaii-born president-elect Barack Obama (she toured the Mainland to campaign for the McCain-Palin ticket), and with the recent tectonic shift in national politics, the stage seems to be set for a Democrat to recapture Washington Place.

Technically, Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona is running for the state’s top job, but his prospects seem about as strong as Democrat Randy Iwase’s were in 2006.

What could make the gubernatorial race interesting in 2010 are two prominent politicians: former Congressman Ed Case, who seems to be running for the Office of Whatever’s Attainable, and current Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman, who’s stubborn refusal to rule out a gubernatorial bid has been translated by many to be confirmation of such.

As soon as Abercrombie formally announces his plans, Case, Abercrombie, and others with an eye on the 7th 5th floor of the Hawaii State Capitol will likely quickly follow suit. But there’s a lot opening up in 2010, which Bob Jones calls a “witching year.” In addition to the race for governor, voters will decide on both of Hawaii’s seats in Congress and four Honolulu City Council seats.

9 Responses

  1. Raf Castillo says:

    Ryan, you have the soul of a poet. The phrase “The Office of Whatever’s Attainable” is literary gold. Took me completely by surprise. Then it put a heckuva smile on my face.

  2. ZZ Type says:

    As soon as Neil files, there will be a mad rush at Elections to file for his seat. I’ll bet Moof beats Ed Case in the door.

  3. rod says:

    Capitol only has 5 floors.

  4. Ryan says:

    Oops. Fixed. Of course, that was the line Ian Lind deems most worthy of comment!

  5. Abercrombie foa Governor 2010! :)

  6. Linkmeister says:

    Not that Neil listens to me, but I’d rather have him stay in the House than be in the thankless (and largely ceremonial) job the Governorship seems to be.

    I can’t think of a single initiative our current Chief Executive has managed to get through the Legislature (and yes, I know they’re all Dems, but still). When Cayetano was in that office it didn’t seem to matter much that he and the Lege were of the same party, nor did it matter much when it was Waihee.

  7. Bilbo BagginsMaui says:

    You would think that some folks will be trying to talk Neil into staying on in D.C. to preserve his seniority for the State. . . but he apparently wants to spend more time home in Hawaii.
    In the last couple of years, Neil has been more visible on Maui (may be as much as our district’s actual federal representative Mazie Hirono).
    If Neil doesn’t run, I wouldn’t count Dukie out — with the Democrats thinking about a run all hailing from Oahu, winning may depend on gettingthe national Dems and independents on the neighbor islands to go with the majority party. And Dukie is as likeable on the neighbor islands as any other Oahu politician (and his persona friendlier than some of the Democrats mentioned as contenders for Washington Place).

  8. Pete says:

    Man is a quitter! And worse, a CAREER POLITICIAN!! We campaign against this clown. LOSER!

  1. March 7, 2009

    […] run for governor.  True, it was the worst-kept secret in local politics (I blogged it as a sure-thing in November, and I was late then!), and every media outlet had the story yesterday (after Abercrombie […]

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