Primary preview: Neil Abercrombie

Governor Neil Abercrombie knows that when it comes to politics, nothing is guaranteed.

Still, he’s confident his record will speak for itself and hopes voters will allow him to continue to serve as Hawaii’s governor for a second term.

A different side of the often fiery politician was revealed in a candid conversation with KHON2 News.

When asked why he wanted to be governor instead of being a Congressman for the rest of his life like he could’ve, Abercrombie said “I think people expected me to make the hard decisions. It didn’t make everybody happy, but I think everybody understands that that’s what the governor is supposed to do, is not run away from the challenges but run to it and through it.”

But making tough decisions isn’t always the popular thing to do. It’s a classic case of “you can’t please everyone.” But it’s a lesson Abercrombie has learned after more than 40 years of public service.

“I feel that we set a real solid foundation, and when people (go) to the voting booth, they’re going to say ‘you know, maybe I didn’t like every decision, I understand that we’re not necessarily going to agree with Gov. Abercrombie and everything but, by God, he made the decisions when they have to be made.”

Has being governor changed Abercrombie at all? “You know, I’ve never been asked that question before. It’s a great question because the answer is yes, it has changed me.

“In terms of my family, in terms of my friends, in terms of my personal relationships, I treasure and cultivate them and let everybody know how much I care about that, how much I love them.

“I never take that for granted,” he said.

Abercombie admits this campaign has been his most emotional yet.

“I had somebody come up to me just yesterday, thanking me for helping bring his wife from the Philippines. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget there’s real human beings that you’ve affected.”

Abercrombie is hopeful he’s allowed to continue his service as governor of Hawaii.

“Emotionally, I’m just full of gratitude. Whatever happens, I couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity to serve.”

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