Dec 24, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Former Hawaii governor says Gabbard should resign from Congress

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks during the inaugural Veterans Day L.A. event
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A former Democratic governor of Hawaii told a news conference Monday Rep. Tulsi Gabbard should resign from Congress so a special election can be held in the state.

Details: Former Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) cited Gabbard's not running for House re-election and that she's rented a home in New Hampshire as reasons for the call, noting she'd missed congressional votes since launching her 2020 campaign but that she voted "present" in President Trump's impeachment proceedings.

I feel very strongly the 2nd District of Hawaii must be fully represented.
— Abercrombie

Between the lines: Per GovTrack, Gabbard has missed 8.8% of House roll call votes in the past three months. That's "higher than the median of 2.1% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving," the tracking site notes.

  • Her congressional voting is in line with other 2020 candidates who currently serve in Congress. Indeed, she's missed fewer votes than most for the same period.

Context: Abercrombie is "co-chair of state Sen. Kai Kahele’s congressional campaign to succeed Gabbard," Politico notes. But he told the news outlet he alone made the decision to call for Gabbard's resignation.

What they're saying: T. Ilihia Gionson, Gabbard's spokesperson in Hawaii, indicated in a statement emailed to Axios the 2020 candidate wouldn't resign from Congress, saying the state is her "home and her heart."

"Just this session, she has secured major legislative wins for Hawaiʻi including better reporting on Red Hill aquifer protection, consultation between the military and Native Hawaiians, helping our veterans affected by toxic burn pits, opportunities for defense contracting for Native Hawaiian companies, and more.
"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."

Go deeper: Tulsi Gabbard on impeachment vote: "I did not take the easy vote"

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