Campaign kicks into high gear with rallies


POSTED: Saturday, April 04, 2009

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie will launch his campaign for governor in earnest next week with a two-week series of campaign rallies across the state and a fundraiser, according to supporters.

Abercrombie will be back for the two-week Easter congressional recess and is planning campaign rallies on Kauai and in Hawaii Kai next week and Waipahu and Moanalua the following week.

“;He will be reaching out in a big way. He is also planning trips to Hilo,”; campaign spokesman Bill Kaneko said. “;He is reaching out to not only voters, but key stakeholders throughout the state.”;

So far the fledgling campaign has not hired any staff or come up with an organization, although Abercrombie converted his congressional campaign office at Ward Warehouse to his gubernatorial campaign headquarters.

Abercrombie will also hold a fundraiser sometime this month, but the plans have not been finalized, Kaneko said.

The campaign has been doing fundraising already but has not yet planned a formal big event. “;We will have more events throughout the state,”; Kaneko said.

Abercrombie, a Democrat, has served as Hawaii 1st Congressional District representative for 20 years. Before going to Washington, he was also elected to the state Legislature and Honolulu City Council.

Abercrombie recently announced that he would not run for re-election to Congress next year and instead would run for governor when the office opens up in 2010. Gov. Linda Lingle is limited to two terms and cannot run again.

Also running for governor is Lt. Gov. James “;Duke”; Aiona, a Republican, who has served two terms as lieutenant governor with Lingle.