State Representative Mark Takai received a noteworthy endorsement from Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth Monday.
"He's not just talking the talk, he's walking the walk" Duckworth said during her impassioned introductory speech.
Duckworth is a high profile congresswoman and a highly decorated military veteran. Takai is trying to separate himself from a crowded field of candidates in Hawaii by positioning himself as the military and veteran's candidate.
"It's been my focus and my priority as a state legislator to focus on veteran and military affairs" he noted.
So just how valuable will this endorsement be in helping accomplish that?
"It gets him publicity, it might get him money, and it certainly establishes a framework for him as being the military candidate". Political expert and Chair/Professor of Communication at HPU, John Hart said.
While he said he would address his stance on other issues at a later date, Takai repeatedly hammered home the point on being the military and veterans candidate. But will that work? Hart thinks it could.
"This is a perfect situation where if you can get enough people behind that one issue, that's all you need".
The field for the First Congressional District also includes Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, State Senator Will Espero, Honolulu City Council Members Ikaika Anderson and Stanley Chang, and human rights advocate Kathryn Xian.