Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), a former governor, called for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard‘s immediate resignation from office on Monday, stating that if she wishes to remain in the 2020 presidential race, she must leave Congress.

Abercrombie personally telephoned Gabbard before publicizing his position. The former governor said that Gabbard has been neglecting her Congressional duties as she runs for president. “I’ve left a detailed message for her as to what I was thinking, what I was doing and what I hoped she would do,” Abercrombie said.

In a press conference, Abercrombie told the Honolulu Civic Beat [that], “I feel very strongly the 2nd District of Hawaii must be fully represented.” The former governor suggested that Gabbard step down and permit a special election to fill her seat.

GovTrack reported that Gabbard had missed around 86 percent of House votes in the previous three months alone. “Then she didn’t vote on the budget for next year,” Abercrombie continued. “I thought, ‘That’s it.’ Regardless of what her intentions were or what her motivations are, she’s not able to do the job for the 2nd District.”

Abercombie, a prior nine-term House member, said his decision stems from his experience as a candidate and a gubernatorial candidate who decided to resign from Congress on his own accord. Abercrombie stated, “trying to do my job in Washington and run for office, another office, in Hawaii, was just too difficult. I couldn’t do it. I had hoped maybe I could do it, and it became obvious that I couldn’t. So I resigned my seat.”

“Hawaii is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s home and her heart,” communications director T. Ilihia Gionson said in a statement. He also stated that her presidential pursuits had not compromised her, or her team’s commitment, to serving the Hawaiian people in her fourth Congressional term.

Gabbard is considered a long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nominee. She did not qualify for last week’s debate and is currently polling on a national average of less than two percent, according to an average polling report from Real Clear Politics.

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