Categorized | Elections, News

Abercrombie launches re-election campaign


Citing hard choices and tough decisions that had to be made to rebuild Hawaii’s economy, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has formally launched his bid for re-election.

“I’m pleased to report that the days of fiscal chaos are behind us,” the governor told a gathering of supporters. “I pledge to keep our economy growing, because a strong economy will allow us to concentrate on my other priorities, starting with education.”

When Abercrombie took office in 2010, the state had a deficit of $200 million. Government workers took wage cuts in order to keep vital services from being interrupted. Those cuts have been restored through recent labor contracts. The state currently has a positive balance of $300 million.

“We turned things around through collaboration and shared sacrifices,” Abercrombie said.

He noted there were some who did not agree with his decisions and opposed the moves.

“We listened to those concerns but I did not shy away from the tough decisions, because that’s what leaders do,” he said. “We did what was best for the state and our future generations.”

Abercrombie said he will remain focused on keeping the economy strong, and use that strong economy to concentrate on improving our educational system.

“We need to address school readiness, plus our students deserve a robust digital curriculum. Many of our aging schools can’t support modern technology, and by refusing to move with the times we are robbing our children of the ability to compete in the 21st Century,” he said.

He also pledged to keep moving on affordable “live, work and play” housing projects in Kakaako. His other priorities include:

* Addressing the unfunded liability issue

* Working to lower energy costs

* Achieving a sustainable food future

* Keeping pace on capital improvement projects

“Last year, we pushed out nearly a billion dollars in projects to address state infrastructure improvements. We’re doing the same this year, and the results is jobless claims are down, employment is up. All this will continue to stimulate the economy and generate jobs,” Abercrombie said.

The governor said the solid foundation will allow his administration in the second term to champion issues like school readiness and technology improvements.

“You can have confidence in Hawaii’s future, and you can have confidence in me,” Abercrombie said.

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