Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday called on U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to resign her seat in Congress.

“I feel very strongly the 2nd District of Hawaii must be fully represented,” said Abercrombie, who served 20 years in Congress before becoming governor.

Gabbard is running a long-shot campaign for president and recently moved to New Hampshire, an early Democratic primary state.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard announces her run for president.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, seen here announcing her run for president, has been asked to resign by former Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Abercrombie emphasized that Gabbard has already said she will not be seeking reelection for her congressional seat, which represents rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.

He also noted her voting record, including missing votes on several appropriations bills following the impeachment. Gabbard cast the lone “present” vote on two articles of impeachment last week against President Donald Trump.

Updated: Gabbard’s office issued a statement Monday afternoon, citing the congresswoman’s work on the Red Hill aquifer, improving consultation between the military and Native Hawaiian groups and assisting veterans.

“Hawaii is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s home and her heart,” Ilihia Gionson, Gabbard’s Hawaii Island communications director, wrote in an email. “Her pursuit of the highest office in the land has not compromised her and her team’s commitment to serving the people of Hawaii in her fourth term in Congress.”

When Abercrombie ran for governor in 2010, he resigned his congressional seat that February. A special election was held in May to replace him on a temporary basis.

“It’s not a question if she will pay attention to me, but it’s if she will pay attention to her duty to Hawaii,” Abercrombie said.

Abercrombie said a special election should be held to fill Gabbard’s seat if she resigns.

He has endorsed state Sen. Kai Kahele in his run to fill her seat, but said he didn’t make the announcement to benefit Kahele. Abercrombie is a co-chair on Kahele’s campaign.

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