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Politics

Could Djou Challenge Akaka?

February 7, 2011

Former Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii) all but swore off elective politics in his recent farewell address, but the former congressman recently penned an article that is sure to ignite speculation among the state's political observers over whether a 2012 bid against Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) is in the offing.

In a Pacific Business News article, Djou blasts the "machine politics" and "seniority-based system" that make up Hawaii's delegation. "As the 112th Congress convened earlier this year, Americans elected a much younger and more dynamic class of Congressional representatives. Hawaii, however, returned the oldest congressional delegation in the nation," writes Djou in the article published Friday. "The four members of Hawaii's current congressional delegation have an average age of 73."

Djou goes on to contrast DC's shift toward "to a much younger and more transparent leadership style" with the state's congressional delegation. "When Sen. Inouye was first elected to Congress in 1959, House Speaker John Boehner was in elementary school," Djou writes. "Not only had Majority Leader Eric Cantor yet to be born, but President Obama was only born shortly after Sen. Inouye finished his first re-election campaign for Congress."

Akaka recently reiterated his intention to run for reelection. Meanwhile, former Gov. Linda Lingle (R), is considering a bid of her own. She said in November that she would take 6 months before making a decision on a run. Lingle would be the state's strongest potential Republican challenger to Akaka, but if she does not run, Republicans in the state may shift their attention to Djou.

Akaka, not known as an aggressive campaigner, has just $66K+ cash on hand, according to his most recent campaign finance report.

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