Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hawai'i Senator Akaka a Survivor -- Again

After surviving a very tough primary challenge by fellow Democrat Ed Case this year, Hawai'i Senator Daniel Akaka is projected by CNN exit polls to be more than safe in his quest to return to Washington. As of 5:17 ET this morning, the incumbent Senator held a wide lead over Republican Cynthia Thielen, at 61% to 37% respectively.

As the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry (he is of mixed Native Hawaiian and Chinese background), Akaka serves on the Indian Affairs Committee and chairs the Congressional Task Force on Native Hawaiian Issues, and was the chief champion of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (popularly referred to as "The Akaka Bill".) Akaka is also the only Chinese American in the U.S. Senate.

Accompanying Akaka to Washington will be a new House colleague, Democrat Mazie Hirono, who won her campaign for the 2nd District, and incumbent 1st District Rep. Neil Abercrombie. The state’s other Senator, Daniel Inouye, did not face reelection this year.