By OSKAR GARCIA
HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie has formally launched his campaign to win a second term in 2014, saying Hawaii has built momentum coming out of recession and he wants it to continue.
The Democrat told supporters including Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell at a rally Monday that he helped the state turn around a deficit and start focusing on other priorities.
“We want to make certain that the confidence that we are building right now is able to move forward in other areas, as well,” Abercrombie said.
No major opponents have said they’ll challenge Abercrombie.
When asked why he should be re-elected, Abercrombie said he thinks he’s moved forward as he promised in his last campaign.
“I think we had very tough choices to make and tough decisions to make, and I think I’ve made the right decisions to move Hawaii forward,” Abercrombie said.
He declined to say whether a Senate primary shaping up between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa would affect his race for governor.
Hanabusa has not formally announced her plans, and Abercrombie says her running is strictly speculation.
But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says Hanabusa has informed the committee she plans to challenge Schatz, who was appointed by Abercrombie in December after the death of longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Inouye wanted Hanabusa to replace him.
“As far as any possible election challenge is concerned, that remains to be seen,” Abercrombie said. “I have every confidence that my appointment was for good and solid reasons, and I expect the people of the state will judge those reasons and vote accordingly.”