by Diane Ako
(KHNL)- We talk to two-term, second district Representative Ed Case, who is now looking to take on Senator Dan Akaka. Here's a quick look at this Democratic challenger for the United States Senate seat.
During the senate primary debate between 82 year old Akaka and 53 year old Case, age was a major topic. For Case, it's the defining issue for Hawaii voters. "This is about being your Senator over the next generation. This is about providing for the transition that we need in the U.S. Senate. We have not one but two US senators nearing the end of their careers. This is a choice that is going to impact people for a long time."
He says it's not just his youth that qualifies him for the Senate. It's his stand on the main issues. On the war, Case wants a withdrawal from Iraq. "I don't agree with the permanent occupation of Iraq and I don't agree with the ongoing status quo of interminable commitment. The question is how you do that."
He doesn't have a firm timeline. "We'll face negative consequences far worse than if we'd never gone in that if we disengage unilaterally, unconditionally, immediately, and on a firm timetable. That's a fundamental difference between me and Senator Akaka."
Deepening ties with Asia is another of Case's goals.
"In the U.S. Senate I want to be working on our country's foreign policy especially looking west to countries like China, Japan, all the countries of the Asia Pacific that we are going to see an increased relationship with over the next 25 years."
Since 1959, no incumbent member of the state's congressional delegation has ever been defeated. The Kaneohe resident knows he's in for an uphill battle, but says he hopes the voters choose him, because more is at stake than ever. "This choice is about changing the political culture of Hawaii which I don't believe has served us well."
One issue where Case and Akaka are in agreement is on Honolulu's mass transit system. Both advocate rail as the best solution to solving Leeward Oahu's big traffic problems.
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