WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - An emotional tribute to a long-time political leader.
Hawaii's Democratic State Convention wrapped up in Waikiki Sunday, but not before members recognized one of their own.
Senator Daniel Akaka was given a warm welcome as he took the stage to address the crowd.
The 87-year old decided to retire instead of seeking a fourth senate term.
He is the first senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry, and he served both in the senate and the house.
Akaka says during his retirement he plans to spend more time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"I wanted to express from the bottom of my, deep within my gratitude in my heart, the gratitude I have for the people of Hawaii and for the opportunity they gave me to serve them", said Akaka.
Akaka is still trying to spearhead efforts to pass some form of a Native Hawaiian recognition bill.
Democrats Ed Case and Mazie Hirono, and Republican Linda Lingle are vying for Akaka's seat.