Statements of support are pouring in following the recent announcement by first term Hawaii Rep Mark Takai (D-HI) that he will not seek re-election because his cancer is spreading.
Takai beat a crowded field of candidates to win his first term in 2014. He announced his decision on Thursday. It read in part:
“When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, my family and I resolved to fight it head-on and with deep personal faith. Today, we find ourselves at a crossroads. I had truly hoped to aggressively fight this cancer while seeking re-election, but I recently learned that my cancer has spread.
“Putting Hawaii and its people first means that I must regretfully withdraw from my 2016 re-election race for Congress and suspend my campaign. Right now, for the sake of my family, I need to focus on getting better rather than getting re-elected.”
Rep Judy Chu (D-CA) who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus applauded Takai for his dedication and leadership, particularly on issues involving veterans. She singled out his contribution to helping Filipino American veterans from World War II reunite with their loved ones and getting treatment for veterans suffering from service related radiation exposure.
“On behalf of CAPAC, I thank Mark for his leadership and service to our country,” she said. “I know that he will continue fighting cancer like he has fought for AAPI communities in Congress. He and his wife Sami, and their children Matthew and Kaila, are in our thoughts.”
President Obama also chimed in.
“Michelle and I thank Mark for his leadership and service, but also for his courage and tireless advocacy for cancer research – research that has given hope to others who fight this disease every day,” said the President. “We want Mark to know that he and his family have our continued support and warmest wishes on their journey ahead.”
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) May 20, 2016
The deadline to file to run for Takai’s seat is June 7.
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