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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 4:46 p.m., Thursday, January 19, 2006

Case to challenge Akaka for U.S. Senate seat

 •  Read Ed Case's statement on his Senate bid

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

U.S. Rep. Ed Case announced today he would challenge U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate this year, setting up a contest between two of Hawai'i's most powerful politicians.

The unusual primary fight will likely test party loyalty and prompt a scramble to fill Case's congressional seat.

Akaka said through a spokesman that he intends to run for re-election.

Case, D-Hawai'i, was elected in a special election in 2002 to fill out the remainder of U.S. Rep Patsy Mink's term after she died. He won a second special election to replace Mink after she was elected posthumously.

Akaka, D-Hawai'i, has served in the Senate since 1990.

"Our Hawai'i has been served ably and with great distinction by generations of U.S. senators, including Sen. Daniel Akaka," Case said in a prepared statement. "Like all of our Hawai'i, I have the deepest aloha for Sen. Akaka and truly honor his decades of selfless service.

"But we all know that we are in a time of transition in our Hawai'i's representation in Congress and especially in the Senate. This transition requires that we phase in the next generation to provide continuity in that service."