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Hawaii Senator Akaka Not Seeking Re-Election

Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) will not seek re-election in 2012, a Democratic official confirms to Fox News.

The 86-year-old senator has served in Congress since 1977, having spent the first 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

President Obama issued a paper statement following the announcement, "Danny spent his career fighting for our troops, veterans and their families and for the rights of Native Hawaiians. He worked tirelessly to reform Wall Street and to make sure that consumers and small business owners are treated fairly in our system. His voice in the Senate will be missed. Michelle and I would like to join the people of Hawai'i in saying 'mahalo' to Danny for his lifetime of service and offer both him and Millie our best wishes for the future."

Potential Democrats who could run for his seat: Hawaii's Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.

There had been concern among Democrats about Akaka's ability to fundraise against a Republican upstart like Linda Lingle, who gave the nominating speech for Sarah Palin at the 2008 Republican National Convention and has expressed interest a Senate run. Akaka's colleague Sen. Daniel Inouye, also of Hawaii, said last week he would not be able to offer Akaka financial support for his campaign, as had been done in the past.

Fox News' Trish Turner contributed to this report.

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