Shaking up 2012: US senators who aren't running for reelection

With the 2012 campaigns not far off, the departures of these incumbents are shaking things up. Here's how.

4. Daniel Akaka (D) of Hawaii

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    Sen. Daniel Akaka speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Feb. 16, 2011. Akaka announced on March 2, 2011, that he will not run for re-election in 2012.
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Senator Akaka is the third-oldest lawmaker in the Senate. The octogenarian was appointed to the seat in 1990, after the death of Sen. Spark Matsunaga, and he was elected later that year to finish out Matsunaga’s term.

Akaka’s upcoming retirement does not seem to worry Democrats, who say Hawaii’s heavy Democratic leanings, plus having Hawaiian-born President Obama on the 2012 ballot, should make it an easy Democratic victory.

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