Hawaii Results: Akaka Hangs On
Akaka took 54 percent of the vote while Case received 45 percent. It was a victory for old-style machine politics as the state party brought its considerable resources to bear on Akaka's behalf. Case's argument that Hawaii needed to begin to look to a new generation of leaders (both Akaka and Sen. Daniel Inouye are 82 years old) failed to resonate with a majority of voters.
Akaka's victory should also be seen as a victory for liberals within the party. Akaka was one of only a handful of Democratic Senators to vote against the use of force resolution against Iraq in 2002. While Case was not in Congress at the time of the vote, he had said he would have voted in support of the resolution. Akaka centered his campaign on that difference, believing rightly that Democratic primary voters would see things his way.
It was not immediately clear who Akaka will face in the general election. Former Vietnam prisoner of war Jerry Coffee won the Republican primary even though he had previously withdrawn from the race due to health problems. Gov. Linda Lingle (R) has until Tuesday to select a replacement for Coffee on the ballot.
Regardless of who Lingle picks, Akaka is a strong favorite for re-election on Nov. 7.
In the other race of note in Hawaii, former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono appears to have narrowly defeated state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd district. With 195 out of 196 precincts counted, Hirono had 21.81 percent to Hanabusa's 21.10 percent. Hirono's margin was just 799 votes.
The race for the Republican nomination was nearly as close. State Sen. Bob Hogue led former state Rep. Quentin Kawananakoa 50.6 percent to 49.6 percent -- a lead of 199 votes.
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