Daniel Akaka

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Daniel Akaka
U.S. Junior Senator, Hawaii
Party Democratic
Assumed office (class 1)

May 16, 1990
Serving with Daniel Inouye

Preceded by Spark Matsunaga
Born September 11, 1924
Spouse Mary Mildred Chong
Religion Congregationalist

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Daniel Kahikina Akaka is the junior member of United States Senate from Hawaii and a member of the Democratic Party. He is the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry and is the only Chinese American member of the Senate (and one of two current Senators with Japanese ancestry).

He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1976 to represent Hawaii's Second Congressional District. He won seven consecutive elections by wide margins.

Akaka was appointed to the Senate in April 1990 to serve temporarily in place of the late Senator Spark Matsunaga, and sworn into office on May 16, 1990. In November of the same year, he was elected to complete the remaining four years of Matsunaga's unexpired term. He was re-elected in 1994 for a full six-year term, and, with over 70 percent of the popular vote, again in 2000.

According to a late 2005 poll of satisfaction with Senators in each state by SurveyUSA, Akaka was approved by 64% of survey respondents in Hawaii. The national average is 54%. Survey Results

On January 19, 2006, District 2 House Rep. Ed Case announced he would run against Akaka in Hawaii's primary election on Sept. 23, 2006. The following was reported in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on January 20:

Akaka was not available for comment yesterday afternoon, but the head of his local campaign, Wayne Yamasaki, said they were ready for a race.
"We welcome challenges because challenges toughen the candidate. Sen. Akaka has a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Senate. He's ready to run on the issues and his accomplishments for the people of Hawaii," Yamasaki said.
In a prepared statement, Hawaii's other senator, Daniel Inouye, said Case's decision "stunned" him.
"I have already assisted Sen. Akaka with his re-election effort, including helping him with fundraising. I intend to continue to give Sen. Akaka my support."
Inouye asked Case to withdraw from the campaign.
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, in a hastily called news conference after Case's announcement, said he had spoken with Akaka and Inouye, although he was not specific on how Akaka reacted to the news.
Abercrombie, his voice shaking with emotion at times, said Akaka had his and Inouye's support, as well as the backing of his colleagues in Washington.
"I can assure you that the Senate Democrats are galvanized around Sen. Akaka's re-election," Abercrombie said. "They love him, you have to understand that. Sen. Akaka's support among his colleagues in Washington is universal."

Akaka was born on September 11, 1924, in Honolulu, Hawaii. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including service on Saipan and Tinian. He earned a Bachelor of Education (1952) and Master of Education (1966) from the University of Hawaii.

He is married to Mary Mildred Chong; they have 5 children, 14 grandchildren, and one great grandson.


Member of the following Senate Committees:


      United States Senate
      141 Hart Senate Office Building
      Washington, D.C. 20510
      Tel: (202) 224-6361
      Fax: (202) 224-2126
      Prince Kuhio Federal Building
      300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 3-106
      Box 50144
      Honolulu, HI 96850
      Tel: (808) 522-8970
      Fax: (808) 545-4683
      101 Aupuni Street
      Hilo, HI 96720
      Tel: (808) 935-1114
      Fax: (808) 935-9064
      E-mail: senator@akaka.senate.gov 

Related articles

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External links

  • Akaka Bill (see related article Akaka Bill)
    • Borreca, Richard. Struggle over Akaka Bill tests senator's tenacity Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7-31-05.
  • 2005: ANWR vote
    • Vorsino, Mary. Isle senators’ vote to drill in Alaska ‘heartbreaking’ -- Inouye and Akaka side with the GOP, handing them a victory Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 11-7-05.
  • 2005: GOP move to break up 9th Circuit
    • Hawaii senators join opposition to court split -- Western Democrats say the GOP move to divide the 9th Circuit is politically motivated Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 12-9-05.
  • Reducing oil dependency
    • Akaka, Daniel. Our need for oil can be reduced Honolulu Advertiser, 2-5-06.
  • Post 2006 election
    • Borreca, Richard. Shift in Congress should boost Hawaii -- Three of the state's four lawmakers will hold important posts Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 7, 2007.
  • Senator Akaka heads Veterans Administration Committee
    • Borreca, Richard. Akaka takes over helm of VA committee -- The Senator is expected to raise the VA profile in Hawaii Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 10, 2007.
    • Associated press. Akaka wants an investigation of 2 VA hospitals after suicide Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 4, 2007.
    • Associated press. Akaka: $300M more needed to treat vets' brain injuries Honolulu Advertiser, February 28, 2007.
    • Associated press. Akaka gets group tour of Walter Reed -- Scandal surrounds the Army's main medical center Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 4, 2007.
  • September 11 reform bill
    • Waterman, Shaun. Analysis: Bush Will Veto Transportation Security Administration Labor Law "One of the provision's strongest backers, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, told UPI in a statement that a veto would also kill numerous other provisions of the law." The Post-Chronicle, February 28, 2007.
  • Iraq War
    • Associated Press. Hawaii senators vote to withdraw troops from Iraq -- Vote fell short of number needed to advance the measureHonolulu Star-Bulletin, July 19, 2007.

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