Six state legislators and eight members of Congress endorse Takai
HONOLULU (August 4, 2014) — Today, Rep. Mark Takai was joined by dozens of people at the Eternal Flame, where Takai announced his candidacy for Congress almost a year ago.
While his wife Sami and his children, Matthew and Kaila, attended Takai’s announcement on August 7, 2013 today’s press conference included representatives from the 25 unions and organizations that have endorsed him for Hawaii’s First Congressional District.
Today, Takai received the endorsement of Sen. Michelle Kidani, the Vice Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Sylvia Luke, the Chair of the House Finance Committee.
Also endorsing Takai were Rep. Scott Saiki, Rep. Scott Nishimoto, Rep. Della Au Belatti and Rep. Bert Kobayashi.
“I’m pleased to have the endorsement of six of my legislative colleagues,” Takai said. “We have worked closely together during my 20 years in the Legislature and I truly appreciate their support for our campaign for Congress.”
“I believe that I understand how government can actually work well and I’m eager to build coalitions in Washington to ensure that we build a strong economy for Hawaii that will last – an economy with good-paying clean energy jobs, a strong military presence, affordable housing and educational opportunities for our families,” Takai added.
The six state legislators join eight members of Congress who have also endorsed Takai.
QUOTES FROM SPEAKERS:
Sen. Michelle Kidani
“In 2008 when I decided to run for the Senate, Mark Takai was the only sitting elected official who met and worked with me to give me advice and encouragement. We had worked together on many other campaigns and he knew my strengths and believed I could best serve my senate district. It is this same reason that I am supporting my friend Representative Mark Takai. I believe Mark will do great things for us now and for the future of my children and grandchildren and all of Hawaii’s families. Please support Mark Takai for Congress.”
Rep. Sylvia Luke
“I first met Mark when we were both students at the University of Hawaii. His dedication to the University and more importantly to the students is one of the things that most impressed me. I believe that Mark is the right choice for the people of Hawaii and for our nation. He has proven himself to be a legislator that not only brings people together to benefit Hawaii, but also has put Hawaii’s interests first and foremost. Mark’s record, from our college days to now, is what makes me firmly believe he should be our next Congressman. I ask that you will support Mark. Mahalo.”
Joan Husted, Women for Takai
“Mark Takai has the support of women across the state. He has consistently stood up for the rights of women in the state legislature. He has voted for emergency contraception in the emergency rooms. He has supported equal pay for equal work. He was even the chair of the Legislature’s Women’s Caucus. Whenever he has been given the choice, Mark has always chosen to stand with the women of Hawaii. There is only one individual who has the courage to stand up for what he believes in, to fight for the people of Hawaii, and to enact change in Congress, and that individual is Mark Takai. I sincerely hope that you will vote for him.”
Mel Kahele, Iron Workers
“We were proud to be Mark Takai’s first endorsement. Mark has always been a friend to the Iron Workers and we know that in Congress he will be on the side of working families every time. Washington D.C. is in desperate need of some Aloha, and we firmly believe that Mark Takai is the man for the job.”
Kris Hanselman, University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA)
“The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly has long recognized the important work that Mark Takai has undertaken to ensure that the University of Hawaii provides a quality education and remains accessible to our students. Mark has been a part of our community as a student athlete, editor of the school paper, president of the student body and servicing as head of the UH Letterwinners’ Club. As a legislator and chair of the House Higher Education Committee, Mark demonstrated his knowledge and foresight in identifying the challenges facing our institution. UHPA endorses Mark Takai knowing that he will represent the people of Hawaii well.”
Steven Lee Montgomery, Sierra Club
“In his time at the Legislature, Mark Takai has been a strong advocate for our environment. We are confident he will continue this fight in Congress. Mark’s conscientious public service, willingness to listen and responsiveness to the economic concerns of working families will make him an excellent congressman for all of Hawaii. He is someone who leads by example, a trait desperately missing in Congress. Mark Takai is a champion of the environment, and he will be a champion for Hawaii.”
Wil Okabe, Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA)
“Mark Takai is not only a product of our public schools, but Mark is an example of what committed individuals can accomplish for Hawaii if given the opportunity. During his 20 years in the state Legislature, Mark has been a strong advocate for education; he has brought in over $40 million for our state’s keiki. He has spent his career stressing the importance of education and making sure our teachers receive the necessary support. This is why we at HSTA are incredibly proud to support Mark Takai in this race.”
Todd Simmons, Equality Hawaii
“We, at Equality Hawaii, not only appreciate Mark’s vocal support and vote for marriage equality last Fall, but we also admire what he has done since. Mark’s 20 years in the state House of Representatives combined with his military record, his support for clean energy, his advocacy for education and his dedication to Hawaii all make him the right choice. We’re very pleased to see not only that so many other organizations agree, but also that the voters themselves are lining up behind Mark. He’ll be a great addition to Hawaii’s strong federal delegation.”
Randy Swindell, Masters, Mates, & Pilots (MMP)
“As a veteran and an active member of the Hawaii National Guard, who has been deployed overseas, Mark Takai has firsthand knowledge of the value and importance of a strong, viable Merchant Marine. I am confident that Mark will be a strong and effective advocate for sound policy to preserve American middle-class jobs and the maritime industry. We are supporting Mark because he has consistently supported the people of Hawaii.”
Allen Hoe, Vets For Takai
“This spot has extra special meaning to Mark and to my family. It symbolizes the generations that have come before and the generations who will follow. There is a strong tradition of military service here in Hawaii and Mark honors that legacy. In the race to be the next representative from Hawaii, there is only one Democrat that is a veteran. That man is Mark Takai. As a Lieutenant Colonel in Hawaii’s Army National Guard he has served Hawaii and our nation for fifteen years. When our country called, Mark served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mark will continue the strong military traditions which Sen. Inouye, Sen. Akaka, and Rep. Gabbard established. He has defended our country in uniform and will continue to do so in Congress, that is why we Hawaii Veterans are proud to support Mark Takai.”
Mark Takai is a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard. Use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of Defense or Department of the Army.