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Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), a great friend of all working people, particularly those employed in the maritime industry and its allied trades, will be leaving Congress at the end of February to make a run for the governorship ofHawaii.

A 19-year veteran of the House of Representatives, Abercrombie has been a leading advocate on behalf a strong U.S.-flag merchant.  Speaking at last year’s MTD executive board meeting, he urged Congress to increase funding for both the Maritime Security (MSP) and Title XI (shipbuilding loan guarantee) Programs.  He also has spoken out against attempts to weaken the Jones Act, the nation’s preeminent cabotage law.

A passionate advocate for programs to help the poor and middle class, he urged union members and their families to organize on a grass roots level to make their voices heard.

Maritime labor not only will remember Abercrombie as a good friend and effective legislator, but as an outstanding speaker whose appearances before numerous MTD executive meetings over the years have become, as one spokesperson for the Department noted, “the stuff of legend.”

Abercrombie chaired the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces snd the House Armed Services Subcommittee,