(KHNL) - At approximately 11:50 PM Saturday night, U.S. Senate challenger Rep. Ed Case delivered his concession speech, thanking his supporters.
"It was my decision to run and the result of the election is mine," Case said with his wife Audrey by his side. Speaking to his supporters at campaign headquarters, Case said he is "deeply, deeply grateful" to those who helped in the campaign.
After the second printout, Sen. Daniel Akaka keeps his early lead, holding a nine percent advantage over Case, with 65 percent of the precincts reporting according Hawaii's Office of Elections. Akaka has 87,102 votes to Case's 71,712. Akaka virtually reassured his re-election, building his early lead with absentee voters and receiving a solid majority of votes so far.
Akaka has led pre-election polls. The 82-year-old senator touts his 30 years of experience in Congress and his voting record against the war in Iraq. Case, 53, has said his relative youth is an asset, asking voters to elect a younger representative who can start building seniority in Washington.
Akaka has enjoyed more success in fundraising than Case, raising more than $2 million to Case's $817,000 by early this month. Key Senate Democrats endorsed Akaka.
Voter apathy is particularly strong in Hawaii. It is in last place in voter turnout. Only 40 percent of 626,000 registered voters cast ballots in the 2004 primary.
The winner in the Akaka v. Case race does not have serious competition from the Republican Party in the November election. Jerry Coffee, who was endorsed by Gov. Linda Lingle (R-Hawaii) has dropped out due to illness. The GOP could pick a new candidate for the general election.
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