Neil Abercrombie

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Neil Abercrombie
Neil Abercrombie.jpg
Governor of Hawaii
In office
December 6, 2010 - Present
Term ends
December 1, 2014
Years in position 5
Base salary$117,312
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limits2 consecutive terms
Prior offices
Hawaii House of Representatives
1975 - 1979
Hawaii State Senate
1980 - 1986
U.S. House of Representatives
1986 - 1987, 1991 - 2010
High schoolWilliamsville High School
Bachelor'sUnion College
Ph.D.University of Hawaii-Manoa
Date of birthJune 26, 1938
Place of birthBuffalo, New York
Office website
Neil Abercrombie (born June 26, 1938) is the current Governor of Hawaii. He was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Hawaii's 1st congressional district (map) from 1991 until his resignation in 2010.

Early life, education and career

Abercrombie was born in Buffalo, New York, to Vera June and Donald Abercrombie.[1] Upon graduating from Williamsville High School (now Williamsville South High School), he went on to pursue studies in sociology at Union College (New York) in Schenectady, New York. There, Abercrombie obtained his bachelor's degree in 1959. He moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, and studied at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies in 1974. There he attended classes with and befriended current United States President Barack Obama's parents, Ann Dunham and Barack Obama, Sr.[2] As a result, Abercrombie is the only member of Congress to have met Barack Obama's parents while they lived in Hawaii.

In 1981, Abercrombie married Nancie Caraway,[3] who is a political scientist and feminist writer at the University of Hawaii-Manoa's Globalization Research Center.

Abercrombie is an avid weight-lifter and has a stated goal of lifting 200 lbs more than his age on each birthday. It has been reported and witnessed by other members of Congress that Abercrombie can indeed do this. On his 67th birthday, he bench pressed 267 lbs.[4]

Political career

Abercrombie first participated in a political campaign in 1970, seeking the Democratic nomination to the United States Senate. Unsuccessful, Abercrombie ran for the Hawaii House of Representatives where he served from 1975 to 1979. He moved to the Hawaii State Senate, where he served from 1980 to 1986. After Representative Cecil Heftel resigned from the United States Congress in July 1986 to run for Governor of Hawaiʻi, Abercrombie was elected to the House in a September 1986 special election to complete Heftel's unexpired term. However, on the same day Abercrombie lost the Democratic primary for a full two-year term to Mufi Hannemann, who went on to lose to Republican Pat Saiki in the general election.[5]

Abercrombie then set his sights on a seat of the Honolulu City Council. He won the race and served from 1988 to 1990.

U.S. Congress

At the end of his council tenure, Abercrombie once again ran for Congress and won in 1990, and went on to be re-elected ten times. In the 2008 election, he won with 70.6% of the vote.

Neil Abercrombie was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and compiled a generally liberal voting record. He supported and voted for the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. On October 10, 2002, he was among the 133 members of the House who voted against authorizing the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He cosponsored H.R. 1312 (Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2005) on July 28, 2005. He took issue with the Vatican over not listing torture as a sin.[6]

According to Project Vote Smart, Abercrombie holds the following issue positions. He is pro-choice, and has voted against a ban on partial birth abortion. He voted with the interests of NARAL and Planned Parenthood 100% between 2000-2006. He has voted for bills designed to make it easier for Americans to vote, such as the motor voter bill. He has advocated strongly for civil liberties; his voting record is supported by both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and American Library Association. He has also voted against a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to being between one man and one woman. Notably, he was one of only nine representatives not to cast a vote for or against the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001. In 2005, he voted against the extension of the act, calling it “a blank check to trample civil liberties." In 2007, he signed on as a co-sponsor of United States National Health Care Act (H.R. 676), which would have established a national health insurance program. [7] He resigned from Congress shortly before the vote on the 2010 health insurance reform bill.[8]

"Mainland" earmarks

For Fiscal Year 2009, the State of Hawaii was one of the top recipients of “mainland money” in the form of Congressional earmarks, receiving $210 dollars in “mainland money” per capita ($270,736,707 total). Maine, a comparable state in population, received only $55 per capita in earmarks.

Abercrombie sought 41 earmarks for a total of $165,034,800 in “mainland money.”[9]

2010 gubernatorial campaign

On Sunday, March 9, 2009, he announced his intention to again run for Governor of Hawaii instead of running for an 11th term.[10] On December 11, 2009 he announced that he would resign from Congress to concentrate on his gubernatorial bid. He was succeeded in Congress by Republican Charles Djou, the first Republican elected to Congress from Hawaii since Congresswoman Pat Saiki.

Abercrombie won the September 18 primary, defeating Mufi Hannemann. On November 2, 2010, Abercrombie faced Republican James R. "Duke" Aiona, Jr., Daniel H. Cunningham (of the Free Energy Party) and Thomas W. "Tom" Pollard, who ran as a Non-Partisan candidate.[11]

See also

External links