Sen. Daniel Inouye has won a ninth term after coasting to victory over a Republican with little money or name recognition.
The 86-year-old Hawaii Democrat is the nation’s most senior senator and is chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. With Democrats maintaining control of the Senate, he will continue to be able to wield enormous control over how federal money is spent.
The Associated Press declared Inouye the winner based on early returns that showed him leading Republican Cam Cavasso, 73 percent to 20 percent.
Inouye hasn’t said whether this term will be his last, but he also said he hopes another Hawaii Democrat is prepared to take over when he decides to leave office.
As president pro tempore of the Senate, Inouye is third in line for the presidency.
Inouye raised more than $5.1 million over the last six years, compared with $252,000 for Cavasso since January 2009.