By Diane Ako
HONOLULU (KHNL)- This was a race between a senate incumbent who has experience and broad name recognition and a congressman who campaigned on a platform of change. Experience won out with democratic voters, who by a 54% to 45% margin sent Senator Daniel Akaka onto the general election. He received nearly 129,000 votes to Representative Ed Cases' nearly 107,000.
Akaka serenaded supporters on a night where he came out of the gates ahead and maintained a consistent lead throughout. The senator signed autographs and mingled with powerful supporters like US Representative Neil Abercrombie. "It ended up with personality. There is a difference between us. People did see a different personality in me than Congressman Ed Case. The votes show that."
At Case headquarters, the candidate appeared before a jubilant crowd to the blaring theme music of "Rocky." What started as a party with friends and family turned serious. After the second printout Case's staff crunched the numbers to realize he lost. Case remained gracious. "There is one winner tonight and that is democracy. Democracy won because people engaged in their government."
The loss is still fresh but many of Case's supporters are asking when he'll run again. He says for now, he's going to mow the lawn, surf, relax, and turn his attention to his current job. "I'm going to try to do the best job I can in Congress over the next 3 months. I still have that job. I need to think through carefully what the results meant."