Senator Daniel Akaka, a pro-abortion Democrat from Hawaii, announced late Wednesday he would not seek a fifth term in the US Senate.
Akaka never cast one vote in favor of legal protection for unborn children in his 22 years in the Senate. Akaka even voted against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, making him one of the most extreme abortion advocates in the US Senate.
Akaka’s announcement is bad news for Democrats who are already grappling with the retirements of four others. Senators Webb, Bingaman, Conrad and Lieberman will accompany Akaka in his exit from the Senate in 2013. Democrats will now be forced to invest greater energy into the Hawaii Senate race, which should have been an easy win for them.
The Aloha State is hardly a battleground state. Democrats hold a 34-point party registration advantage. In addition, with a native Hawaiian at the top of the ticket in 2012, it is highly unlikely Republicans will be able to flip this seat. However, in a special election in May 2010, moderate Republican Charles Djou was able to capture Hawaii’s 1st District House seat, taking advantage of a split Democratic vote. Djou was defeated in November 2010. Mentioned as a GOP candidate for Akaka’s seat, Djou stated, “I currently have no plans to run for political office.”
Another potential GOP candidate is Hawaii’s recently retired Governor Linda Lingle, who unfortunately holds a pro-abortion position. As governor, Lingle signed a bill endangering women’s lives by removing a requirement that abortions be performed in hospitals in case of a botched abortion. “This is not a mild expansion of abortion,” Republican State Rep. Bud Stonebraker told the Honolulu Star Bulletin newspaper regarding the bill. “This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to promote abortion that we’ve had in recent history.”
None of the Democratic names being tossed around as a replacement for Akaka are pro-life. At the top of the list are pro-abortion Lieutenant Governor Schatz and pro-abortion Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Regarding the open Hawaii Senate seat, former Democratic Rep. Ed Case, also pro-abortion, told Politico, “I have been interested and I remain interested.”
Senator Patty Murray, the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, commented on Akaka’s retirement, optimistic about Democrats retaining the seat. “With a heavily leaning Democratic electorate and their native son up for reelection as president of the United States, we are confident the people of Hawaii will continue to have two Democrats serving them in the United States Senate.”
The Hawaii Senate race will be a challenging race for Republicans and a nearly impossible race for the pro-life movement in 2012. It’s hard to imagine a more radically pro-abortion record than Senator Akaka’s but with that legacy soon to be in the past, the only way to go is up.