East Hawaii News

Hawai’i Officials React to Takai Announcement

May 19, 2016, 1:14 PM HST
* Updated May 19, 4:36 PM
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Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui. State of Hawai'i photo.

Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui. State of Hawai’i photo.

Congressman Mark Takai announced on Thursday that he plans to suspend his run for re-election, noting a spread of the pancreatic cancer he is currently fighting. 

Several officials released statements following the announcement, including Governor David Ige, Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui and Senators Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Gov. David Ige, who is attending his daughter’s graduation in Washington, D.C., issued the following statement in response to U.S. Representative Mark Takai’s announcement that he will not seek re-election:

“For many years, Mark has wholeheartedly served the people of Hawai‘i, and our communities are better off because of his tireless efforts. I thank him for his military service to our nation, his skilled representation of his constituents in Congress, and his advocacy on behalf of Aiea/Pearl City residents at the State Legislature. He has been a valued colleague and generous friend to me, and I wish him well as he focuses on his health and family.”

“My heartfelt thoughts are with Congressman Mark Takai as he continues his courageous battle with cancer and I wish him a full, healthy recovery,” said Acting Governor Tsutsui said in his statement. “Although I’m sorry to hear that Mark will not be seeking another term of office, I understand first and foremost that his health and well-being are his top priority. During his time in the nation’s capital, Mark ensured that Hawai’i’s voice was heard on issues important to our State, particularly on issues regarding our veterans, kupuna and immigration. As his friend and former colleague at the Legislature, I’ve witnessed Mark’s dedication and commitment to his district and the people of Hawai’i. As he continues to work hard and make strides in Washington, D.C., I extend my best wishes and aloha to him and his ohana. I’d also like to send him my sincerest mahalo for the sacrifices he’s made and for his service to the people of Hawai’i.”


Senator Mazie K. Hirono said, “Mark has served our state and our country honorably as a public servant, elected official, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Hawai’i Army National Guard. He has an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of Hawai’i families.


“I have worked closely with Mark for many years on education reform, and especially on Impact Aid for Hawai’i’s schools when I served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I will miss him in this arena as a strong partner on issues we both care deeply about, and will continue to do so through the rest of his term.

“I have affectionately called Mark my younger brother for many years and I wish Mark and his family all the best.”


Senator Brian Schatz released a statement that read:

“It has been my honor and a true pleasure to work alongside Mark over the years. He is a great teammate and has served the people of Hawai‘i with integrity and aloha.  I know this was a difficult decision, and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

Representative Tulsi Gabbard released the following statement:

“Mark is a dear friend and colleague, and my prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time.  We’ve served together over the years in many capacities—as colleagues in the Hawaiʻi State House, as Soldiers in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard, and now in Congress.  Mark has a servant’s heart and has dedicated his life to working for the people of Hawaiʻi.  Now we can show our thanks to him and his family for their service by supporting them and their decision in every way possible.  I look forward to continuing to work with Mark in Congress for the remainder of his term, ensuring that our constituents inHawaiʻi are served and heard.”

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