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Takai, Anderson entering the race for Hanabusa’s seat in Congress

    This undated photograph provided by his campaign shows Hawaii state Rep. Mark Takai.

Two more Democrats are joining the race for Congress.

State Rep. Mark Takai and City Councilman Ikaika Anderson said Wednesday they are running for the seat in the First Congressional District representing urban Oahu.

Takai, 46, is foregoing reelection to his seat in the Halawa-Aiea-Newtown House district, where he has served since first winning election in 1994.

“I have 19 years in the Legislature and I think I have a great record of representing our community and our state in areas that I think people care near and dear — education, higher ed, military, the economy and job creation,” Takai said today in announcing his decision. “Those are things that i focused on in my career in the Legislature and I think my record shows that if I can continue some of those issues at the federal level it will make a great difference.”

Takai, a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard, has served in the House since first winning election in 1994. A former House vice speaker, Takai currently serves as chairman of the Committee on Veterans, Military and International Affairs,  Culture and the Arts.

Anderson, 35, is in the second year of his first full term on the Council and is not required to resign to run for Congress.

He won a special election in 2009 to fill the vacancy in District 3 (Wai­ma­nalo-Kai­lua-Kaneohe) left by the death of Barbara Marshall, for whom he worked as a legislative aide.

He scheduled a news conference Thursday to formally announce his bid.

Both join a Democratic primary field that already includes City Councilman Stanley Chang and state Sen. Will Espero (D, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point).

Candidates are seeking the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

No Republicans have declared a run for the seat.

Hanabusa is challenging U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz for his seat in the Senate to fill out the remaining two years in the term of U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, who died in December.

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