Washington (CNN) – Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, said Friday that he will formally announce his retirement from Congress this weekend so he can focus on his run for governor next year.
Abercrombie has scheduled a press conference for Sunday.
"I cannot claim the Governorship should be a cornerstone of our democracy and not make the campaign for it the center of all my efforts," Abercrombie said in a statement posted on his campaign Web site.
The 10-term congressman said he already shared his decision with the White House, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Hawaii's congressional delegation. Abercrombie's move will trigger a special election to fill the remainder of his term.
Five other House Democrats are seeking higher office and will leave the House at the end of the 111th Congress. Three House Democrats are retiring with no plans to run for elected office.
The Hawaii governorship is current controlled by Republican Linda Lingle, who is prevented by law from seeking another term in 2010. The Democratic Governors Association sees the Hawaii race as one of their best chances to pick up a seat next year.