Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 3, 2003

Inouye likely to seek eighth term in Senate

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Sen. Dan Inouye intends to run for an eighth term in the Senate next year and has more than $121,100 in his campaign fund.

At 78, Sen. Dan Inouye is confident his health will allow him to pursue another six-year term.

Advertiser library photo • Sept. 19, 2002

Inouye, 78, said in a recent interview that he felt confident enough in his health to pursue another six-year term. The Hawai'i Democrat has served more than 40 years in the Senate and has more seniority than all but two of his colleagues, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

"I intend to be a candidate," Inouye said.

No Republican has announced a challenge to Inouye, who was re-elected in 1998 with 79 percent of the vote. GOP officials believe that a serious candidate would likely have to start raising money and building a campaign soon to mount a credible threat.

"We're always on the lookout, but no one has come forward right now," said Brennon Morioka, chairman of the Hawai'i Republican Party. "It would take a significant amount of money."

The presidential campaign will dominate politics in 2004, and the political parties will likely concentrate money and resources in a handful of battleground states that could tip the election. Hawai'i tends to vote for Democrats in presidential elections, so national Republicans would need other incentives to get behind a fledgling Senate campaign in the Islands.

Gov. Linda Lingle, the state's first Republican governor in four decades, has helped put Hawai'i back on the GOP's radar, but the state party does not have a deep pool of potential candidates.

Inouye, according to his year-end campaign-finance report, had more than $121,100 in cash on hand. His committee had spent more than $46,950 during the past six months, and more than $200,000 so far during this election cycle.