U.S. Congressman Mark Takai died early Wednesday surrounded by family and friends. He was 49.
Takai was a Democrat representing the state of Hawaii. In May, he let the public know that he would not be running for re-election after learning that his pancreatic cancer had spread. Takai was diagnosed with the condition in October.
Rep. Judy Chu, chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, gave a statement honoring Takai. “Mark was a decorated war veteran and proud member of the Hawaii Army National Guard,” she said, “but more importantly, he was an outstanding colleague who truly embodied the aloha spirit and worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the people of Hawaii and all Americans.”
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Takai was a first-term congressman but had served more than 20 years in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. He was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Small Business Committee.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also commented on his passing, saying, “In his service to America and the people of Hawaii, Congressman Takai embodied our nation’s highest ideals. In his fight against cancer, Mark showed the courage and strength that defined the wonderful person he was.”
A statement released from the family expressed their gratitude for the outreach and support they had received and let the public know that information regarding his funeral would be available in the future. He is survived by his wife and two young children.
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