Hawaii Senator Wins Tough Primary Battle

Associated Press
Monday, September 25, 2006

HONOLULU, Sept. 24 -- Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, who has served in Congress for 30 years, beat back a challenge from Rep. Ed Case in Hawaii's Democratic primary.

Case conceded the race just before 6 a.m. Eastern time Sunday, when returns showed that he trailed 55 percent to 45 percent with all but one precinct reporting.

The GOP nomination went to former Vietnam prisoner of war Jerry Coffee, who pulled out of the race because of health reasons. Republicans have three days to name a replacement candidate.

"I want to thank Hawaii for supporting me all these years," Akaka, 82, said Saturday night. "It has been a tough campaign for me."

Case, 53, trailed in every county, including those in his own 2nd District, and did not win on any of Hawaii's islands. Democratic-leaning Hawaii has never unseated an incumbent member of Congress. It became a state in 1959.

In the governor's race, former state senator Randy Iwase won the Democratic nomination over Hawaiian activist William Aila Jr. Iwase will take on Gov. Linda Lingle, who secured the GOP nomination and is expected to easily win a second term.

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