Dems should welcome future Case Senate bid
Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case has filed as a candidate in 2012 for a Senate seat he sought last year against Sen. Daniel Akaka.
ED Case made clear following last year's unsuccessful challenge of Sen. Daniel Akaka that he would not be riding off into the sunset, but his rapid return to the political horizon is a surprise. He has filed as a 2012 candidate
for the same Senate seat and sent out a mass mailing for campaign contributions. Case's continued presence should be welcome news to Democrats, though it is sure to be scorned by Akaka loyalists.
Neither Akaka nor Sen. Daniel Inouye, both 82, has said anything to dispel the assumption they intend to spend the rest of their lives in the Senate. Inouye, elected in 1962, is serving his eighth term and has built considerable seniority, which helps Hawaii. Akaka, appointed in 1990 after the death of Sen. Spark Matsunaga, is serving his third full term, and his seniority is not significant.
Case, 54, argued last year that his election to the Senate would benefit future generations as he built seniority. Voters' rejection of the two-plus-term congressman in the Senate primary election showed the enduring power of the Democratic machine and Akaka's popularity.
The 2012 election could be different. Gov. Linda Lingle, whose term expires in 2010, is expected to run for Akaka's seat. A Lingle candidacy would be formidable, and Akaka could not rely again upon his reverence among Democrats to win a fourth full term.
If Case runs for the seat, the main issue is likely to be which Democrat would run stronger against Lingle. If the seat becomes vacant, that might mean Case or Mayor Mufi Hannemann, whose second term as mayor would expire in 2012.
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