HONOLULU (Reuters) - Senator Daniel K. Akaka, a four-term Democrat from Hawaii, said on Wednesday that he would not seek re-election in 2012.
Jesse Broder Van Dyke, a spokesman for the senator, said Akaka made this "big decision" after lengthy deliberations and made the announcement now "in order to give other candidates the time they need to prepare their campaigns."
Akaka, 86, will finish the remaining two years of his current term and then return to Hawaii to spend more time with his family, mentor other politicians and begin work on documenting his career of more than 30 years in politics, Broder Van Dyke said.
Akaka's career spans nearly 22 years in the Senate and more than 13 years in the House of Representatives.
Patty Murray, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman, said in a statement, "Senator Akaka has served this country with distinction for his entire adult life."
"All Americans are grateful for his service," she said.
(Reporting by Jorene Barut, editing by Alex Dobuzinskis)