POSTED: 9:31 p.m. HST, Mar 24, 2014
The International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots is endorsing state Rep. Mark Takai's bid for Congress.
The organization represents 5,600 unionized mariners in the maritime industry and America's Merchant Marine.
The group said Takai's status as an Army veteran and active member of the Hawaii National Guard puts him in the best position to understand the value and importance of a strong and viable Merchant Marine.
Takai is seeking the 1st Congressional District (urban Hono-lulu) seat being left vacant by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana-busa, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Others in the Demo-cratic primary are Hono-lulu City Council members Ikaika Anderson, Stanley Chang and Joey Mana-han; state Sen. Will Espero (D, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point); state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim (D, Kalihi Valley-Moanalua-Halawa); and social activist Kathryn Xian.
Takai is forgoing re-election to the House 33rd District (Halawa-Newton-Aiea) seat to run for Congress.