Rep. Abinsay retiring from the Legislature
State Rep. Felipe "Jun" Abinsay yesterday announced he will not seek re-election this year and is retiring from the Legislature after 11 years.
Abinsay, 57, D-29th (Kalihi Kai, Kapalama, Sand Island), had a health scare earlier this year, and although he has fully recovered, he said he has decided to devote time to his family and community, and to take better care of his health.
Abinsay became chairman of the Committee on Agriculture in 1998, three years after being appointed to the seat by then-Gov. Ben Cayetano.
As House agriculture chairman, Abinsay — who was a farmer in the Philippines before coming to Hawai'i — was instrumental in passage of the Important Agricultural Lands bill that will preserve and protect designated lands, changes to the animal quarantine laws and repairing and maintaining the state's aging agricultural irrigation systems.
"Serving in the state Legislature always humbled me," Abinsay said in a press release. "People tend to forget where they came from. I found that the value of being at the Legislature was that it reminded me that I came from a small barrio in the Philippines. To become a state lawmaker was a great honor, and it has inspired me to always do my best and to give back."
Abinsay is the 10th member of the Legislature to announce they will not run for re-election. The others are Rep. Dennis Arakaki, D-30th (Moanalua, Kalihi Valley, 'Alewa), Rep. Helene Hale, D-4th (Puna), Rep. Chris Halford, R-11th (South Maui), Sen. Bob Hogue, R-24th (Kailua, Kane'ohe), Sen. Brian Kanno, D-19th (Kapolei, Makakilo, Waikele), Rep. Ezra Kanoho, D-15th (Lihu'e, Koloa), Rep. Bertha Kawakami, D-16th (Po'ipu, Waimea, Ni'ihau), Rep. Brian Schatz, D-25th (Makiki, Tantalus) and Rep. William Stonebraker, R-17th (Hawai'i Kai, Kalama Valley).