Akaka vs. Thielen: US Senate Race Enters Final Week

Senator Dan Akaka
Senator Dan Akaka
Republican Candidate Cynthia Thielen
Republican Candidate Cynthia Thielen

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Despite meeting hundreds of well-wishers during this campaign, Sen. Dan Akaka said he still feels humbled by their support.

"I'm grateful, first, to the people of Hawaii for voting as they did and wanting me to return to the United States Senate," Akaka said.

Akaka says he's still committed to Hawaii's people.

"One of the big issues is families," Akaka said. "And there are so many problems with families in education and social services."

Akaka said veterans issues remains one of his priorities.

"That is really looming," Akaka said. "It's getting bigger with iraq and afghanistan and we need to take care of our returning veterans."

Now Akaka faces Republican Cynthia Thielen, a veteran of the state Legislature.

"There's something about being the underdog and also the youngster in the race and you begin to move and just start moving upward," Thielen said.

Throughout this campaign most of the attention Thielen has received has been due to her position on environmental issues."

"We all know that there's climate changes occuring and we all know the cause of it," Thielen said. "We need the leadership in Washington D.C."

On Iraq, Thielen said changes should be made.

"I believe Rumsfeld must be replaced," Thielen said. "I believe that we must determine if the iraqi population does want us to stay. If not we should remove ourselves in an orderly manner."