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Neil Abercrombie

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1991 – February 26, 2010
Preceded by Pat Saiki
In office
September 20, 1986 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Cecil Heftel
Succeeded by Pat Saiki

In office

In office

Born June 26, 1938 (1938-06-26) (age 71)
Buffalo, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Nancie Caraway
Residence Honolulu, Hawaii
Alma mater Union College, University of Hawaii
Occupation business consultant
Religion Non-denominational Protestant

Neil Abercrombie (born June 26, 1938) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Hawaii's 1st congressional district (map) since 1991 until his resignation to run for Governor of Hawaii on February 26, 2010. He is running for the office of Governor of Hawaii in the upcoming 2010 election.



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 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 doctorate 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 when Obama was a child in Hawaii where Obama's parents lived.

Abercrombie first participated in a political campaign in 1970, seeking the Democratic nomination to the United States Senate. Unsuccessful, Abercrombie ran for the Hawaii State 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.[3]

Abercrombie then set his sights on a seat of the Honolulu City Council. He won the race and served from 1988 to 1990. At the end of his council tenure, Abercrombie once again ran for Congress and won in 1990, and has since been reelected ten times. In the 2008 election, he won with 70.6% of the vote.

Neil Abercrombie is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and has generally compiled a liberal voting record. On October 10, 2002, Neil Abercrombie was among the 133 members of the House who voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq.

On Sunday, March 9, 2009, Abercrombie announced his intention to again run for Governor of Hawaii instead of running for an 11th Congressional term.[4].

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 268 lbs.[5]

Abercrombie currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii and plans to run for governor in 2010.

He announced on December 11, 2009 that he will be resigning from congress to concentrate on his gubernatorial bid.


Committee assignments


Issue positions

Support for gun control

Abercrombie cosponsored H.R. 1312 (Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2005) on July 28, 2005. [2]


Abercrombie's record indicates that he is supportive of most issue positions commonly held by liberal Democrats. 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. [3]

Voting rights

He has voted for bills designed to make it easier for Americans to vote, such as the Motor voter bill. [4]

Civil liberties

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." [5]


In 2007, he signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 676, which would have established a national health insurance program. [6]


He supported and voted for the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. [7]


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Cecil Heftel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 1st congressional district

1986 – 1987
Succeeded by
Pat Saiki
Preceded by
Pat Saiki
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 1st congressional district

1991 – 2010
Succeeded by


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