U.S. Rep Mark Takai (D-HI) has died after a months-long battle with cancer. The first-term Congressman announced in May he would not be seeking reelection due to his disease.
Reports out of Hawaii indicates he died surrounded by family this morning. He first made public his cancer diagnosis in October, but remained optimistic he could beat the disease.
“Today, the people of Hawaii mourn the passing of U.S. Rep. Mark Takai,” said Gov. David Ige. “He proudly served his country in uniform, including 17 years with the Hawaii Army National Guard. Mark humbly and effectively served the people of his state House and Congressional districts. In the often tumultuous world of politics, he has been a shining example of what it means to be a public servant.”
His passing comes just days before the Democratic National Convention. Hopefully his death will be acknowledged next week in Philadelphia as well as this week in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.
“Today our nation lost a true patriot, public servant and friend,” said Rep Judy Chu (D-CA), the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “He was an outstanding colleague who truly embodied the aloha spirit and worked tirelessly for the lives of the people of Hawaii and all Americans.
In his first term, Takai was credited with reuniting Filipino American veterans with their loved ones and getting treatment for veterans suffering from radiation exposure during their service.
He was a decorated war veteran and member of the Hawaii Army National Guard.
He is survived by his wife Sami and their children Mathew and Kaila.
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