Takai will not seek second term in Congress
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Takai will not seek second term in Congress

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / FEBRUARY 2014

    Congressman Mark Takai is seen holding a press conference with U.S. Transportation Security Administration officials and the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Takai announced today he will not seek a second term in Congress, an announcement that comes seven months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takai said today he will not seek a second term in Congress, an announcement that comes seven months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Takai, 48, was elected to his first term in Congress in 2014, representing urban Oahu. He announced in October he had been diagnosed with a small tumor on his pancreas. He had surgery Nov. 10 and was back in the U.S. House to cast a vote by early December.

On Feb. 17 Takai announced he would be running for re-election, but reversed course today.

“In life, we often make plans for ourselves. I had envisioned a long career in the U.S. House of Representatives, building up the seniority and influence that were key to Senator Inouye’s ability to deliver for Hawaii. But as often happens, we find ourselves on a different journey than what we had planned,” Takai said in a written statement.

“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.

“Although I will not be running for re-election, I intend to serve out the remainder of my term in Congress. There is still much work that I am determined to see through for Hawaii and our nation over the next few months.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, and supporters for their unwavering love and support. My time in public service has been an incredible journey, all made possible by my wife Sami, my children, Matthew and Kaila, my parents, siblings, and the many individuals who are family to me, either by blood, or by kinship.

“To my supporters, I say a heartfelt ‘Mahalo!’ You have been the foundation upon which my 20-plus years of public service has been built. Thank you for your love, friendship, and continued prayers,” said Takai said.

Takai served in the state Legislature for two decades before winning election last year to the U.S. House seat that was vacated by former Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Takai is an Iraq War veteran and a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard.

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  • so very sad to hear that this horrible disease has spread. Thank you Rep. Takai for representing Hawai’i and this country so well and good luck in your battle to beat this – YOU GOT THIS!! Praying for you!!!

  • Regardless of what you think of him, pancreatic cancer is serious and not something I’d wish on even my worst enemy.

    Look after your health first Mark.

    • My prayers for Representative Takai and his family in this very difficult time. It’s interesting that he decided to serve out his term. I would’ve resigned to immediately focus on my health. It’s hard to serve when health should be his first priority.

  • Very sorry to hear that his cancer has spread. Pancreatic cancer like lung cancer and throat cancer are very difficult to treat
    and very few survive even after billions spent over the past 30 years on the so called war on cancer.
    The new more hopeful treatments are keying in on using the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer cells by
    striping away the disguise the cancer cells use to hide from the body’s killer t-cells.

  • As a Cancer patient to another…Don’t stop fighting this . Be Positive all the way! I commend you on all the hardwork you gave ,during your time in the House of Representatives.Stay Positive…. You’ll be back! Malama Pono

    • You know, we all have our positions on things and people often disagree with each other. That’s reality, that’s healthy actually, and that is how we progress together as a society. Setting forth your position and arguments, and the basis for them, helps us all to collectively determine the fate of our community and state. But why did you, in relation to this article on Rep. Takai’s health issue, have to refer to former Rep. Hanabusa in that offensive way by calling her “Hanabata”? Is it really that difficult to be civil and to take the high road?

      • I assume you’re referring to Esther Kia’aina, Assistant Secretary of Interior for Insular Affairs. But why pussy-foot around, just use her name so you don’t leave people wondering who is the mysterious person you’re referring to. Esther is extremely intelligent, very friendly and personable, and has tons of experience service on the staffs of Senators and Congressmen. I seem to recall that she ran for Congress a couple years ago and placed fairly well (but not quite well enough). And she’s easy on the eyes too. But I would never vote for her because she has spent her entire career working for OHA or using her staff positions in Congress pushing for OHA agenda and Akaka bill. (Also a minor technicality — I do not live in that Congressional district and therefore cannot vote for or against her.) Smart? Yes. Cute? Yes. Well-experienced? Yes. An agent of racism and evil? Unfortunately yes. Racism with a smile, just like Senator Akaka. Anyway, as I told her when we met at the DOI ANPRM hearing in Kane’ohe, her name says her destiny is to be Governor, not member of Congress. God help us if she gets either office.

      • I assume you’re referring to Esther Kia’aina, Assistant Secretary of Interior for Insular Affairs. But why be so mysterious, just use her name so you don’t leave people wondering who is the person you’re referring to. Esther is extremely intelligent, very friendly and personable, and has tons of experience service on the staffs of Senators and Congressmen. I seem to recall that she ran for Congress a couple years ago and placed fairly well (but not quite well enough). And she’s easy on the eyes too. But I would never vote for her because she has spent her entire career working for OHA or using her staff positions in Congress pushing for OHA agenda and Akaka bill. (Also a minor technicality — I do not live in that Congressional district and therefore cannot vote for or against her.) Smart? Yes. Cute? Yes. Well-experienced? Yes. An agent of racism and evil? Unfortunately yes. Racism with a smile, just like Senator Akaka. Anyway, as I told her when we met at the DOI ANPRM hearing in Kane’ohe, her name says her destiny is to be Governor, not member of Congress. God help us if she gets either office.

        • “Easy on the eyes too”…what a sexist remark. Would anyone ever say that about a man running for Congress. Conklin, you are offensive on so many levels.

        • The comment about her appearance is irrelevant. She is modestly capable in some ways but has indicated she could not represent all residents of her district. She positions make her ineligible to represent us all regardless of race or ethnicity.

        • Debk, I may not agree with Conklin either but the term is not offensive. Many many people talked about Tulsi Gabbard’s good looks and no one objected. I think you over sensitized that one!

  • My wife and I wish U.S. Rep. Mark Takai a complete recovery and a long and happy life.

    Thank you for your service to this country and to this state Rep. Takai.

    Please take as much time as you need to focus on yourself and your family.

  • While I wish Representative Takai and his loved the best, I wonder which political carpet-baggers will run for his office. Ed Case? Ann Kobayashi? Oh…and let’s not forget Charles D’Jou.

    • While I agree that the comment directed at you was not cool, I do think you need to develop a thicker skin if you hope to be elected. In these days of social media someone could take a pic of your comment and use it against you. As a public official, I think you need to let people vent no matter how hurtful or untrue…in your eyes…it may be….Engaging in name calling by an elected official is not a good image to project. Good luck in your endeavors.

    • Potty-mouth Ka’aihue is a girl! Angela Sue Kaaihue is on the official list of candidates who have pulled nominating papers for Takai’s seat. The updated list comes out every Friday, and can be seen at
      http://files.hawaii.gov/elections/files/candidates/reports/candidate_report.pdf

      But Angela Sue Kaaihue is the only person I have ever seen who is on the list twice for the same office — once as a Republican and once as a Democrat. She pulled papers for both on the same date, March 28; but has filed the completed form including signatures of supporters only for the Republican one, filed on May 13. Took her 6 weeks to make up her mind which party to join, and to get the few signatures required. Maybe she couldn’t find enough Dems to support her. Or maybe she likes being the only Republican running. You can phone her to ask about it: her number is on the Office of elections list.

    • Kaaihue is trying to go the Trump route by being obnoxious and resorting to name calling. Fortunately people in Hawaii aren’t that crazy to fall for that trick. Only Trump can pull it off, Kaaihue can’t. Make Hawaii great again – don’t vote for someone like Kaaihue.

  • Very sad news. Rep. Takai has always put the community’s health at the top of his list of importance. Time now to focus on his personal health and the well-being of his family. He’s leaving behind an exemplary career of public service. Best wishes Mark and get well soon.

  • Even though I didn’t vote for Mr. Takai…I wish him well and hope that he recovers and wish to thank him for his military service to our State and country….

  • Maybe it is time to shut down anonymous commenting for articles. Yes it is great for the amount of clicks the SA gets to drive their revenue, but some of these posters are just grotesque.

    • I know how you feel because I too am disgusted with the infantile and disrespectful comments posted in regards to this terrible news. That being said, this is a great way for people to express their sentiments and thoughts. It also is a great way to expose those who are a bit lacking in their thinking process. If there are any “want to be elected officials”, it might be better to be a bit more civil.

    • As an adult if you cannot handle what people post you should not read it snd instead stick with civil beat thst requires names. Maybe some posters can be nasty however on the other side there are incredibly honest almost whistleblower level posts that would NEVER he made if names are required.

  • Comparing any legal battle to cancer is atrocious. You’re not a survivor… You’re a loser. I sincerely hope you’re not serious in an attempt for congress. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

  • Thank you Representative Takai.
    You have served Hawaii well these past years.

    Wishing for a recovery and victory over Cancer..
    God bless you and your family.

  • This young man has done a lot in a short period of time. He is an athlete and supports athletics. I know he will give it all he got to get rid of this insidious cancer.
    I hope he’ll be able to make some t-gates so I can personally thank him for all that he’s done for the community, state and nation.
    IMUA WARRIOR!

  • My wife had 3/4 of stomach, and spleen removed and that was 14 years ago come November. Am very fortunate and proud that she is survivor who never gave up. Wish and hope the best for Rep. Takai and family. As a fellow a veteran God speed on your recovery.

  • Thank you Mark Takai for your years of service (for now), and for being so open and transparent in sharing the intimate reasons for which you made this decision. We pray for continued strength and complete healing as you endure this season. God bless you.

  • I am very sorry to hear this, having lost my sister to pan-can, as they called it. I send healing mana your way, Mark Takai, and mahalo you for your your years of service for us. Malama pono.

  • I am very sorry to hear this, having lost my sister to pan-can, as they called it. I send healing mana your way, Mark Takai, and mahalo you for your years of service for us. Malama pono.

  • Best wishes Mark. I didn’t always agree with your political views going back to your days at UH, but there is no doubt that you have always been a good guy. Thank you for all that you have done for our state. We need more Warriors like you.

  • Wishing him well in his fight against pancreatic cancer. I’m still disappointed and dismayed that funding for UH Cancer Center was not provided. We need to find a cure for all cancers and continued research is the best way.

  • Representative Mark, all the best to you and your family. Again you make the people who elected you proud.
    You deserve to spend quality time with your family. Prayers for your ohana

  • I had envisioned Mark as one who would become a longtime Representative of Hawaii. Having served with him in the legislature, I always knew I could depend upon his counsel.
    However, family first in this unfortunate situation, and many sincere wishes for a recovery that will be long lasting.Prayers are with you ,Mark. Keep fighting.
    Marilyn

    • Well, Ed Case completely trounced Daniel Akaka in the one televised debate that mattered and look where in the Gulag he ended up. Maybe it’s high time he gets to stay where he’s needed.

      As for Djou, on a personal level I’ve found him to be an honorable human being. Being honorable, however, only goes so far in politics, Hawaii politics being cleaner than some but dirtier than many.

  • Very best wishes to Congressman Takai in his fight. My wife is a cancer survivor. It’s a terrible disease but new and better weapons to combat it emerge every day.

  • Takai has been involved in his community since his days as student body president at UH-Manoa. Please take the time to heal properly and get well soon.

  • He is an honorable man who has served his country and his state well in public life. He faces new challenges and we can only wish him the best and thank his family for sharing him with us. Take care and God’s speed.

  • You made the right decision. Put all your energy in fighting this. Absorb all of the love and good vibes of the people who are in your circle. Surround yourself with positive thoughts and remember, make time to laugh. This is the recipe I used to win my battle and only hope you come out on top of yours. Go gettum Mark!

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