Democratic nominee Mark Takai discusses campaign priorities in race for Congress

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The race to represent Hawaii's District 1 in Congress is between two longtime politicians and veterans, Charles Djou and Mark Takai.

We sat down with both candidates for a snapshot of where they stand before our Hawaii News Now debate Sunday at 8pm on KHNL.

Tonight, we go one on one with the Democrats' nominee, Mark Takai.

Representative Takai is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard who has served Aiea for 20 years in the State House. Takai told us, "I'm even prouder of our accomplishments while in the Legislature supporting the military and supporting veterans. Just recently we created the Veterans designation on drivers licenses and state ID's.

Takai says his proudest legislative accomplishment was creating a Hawaii Medal of Honor for families who lost loved ones in wars.

He says if elected to Congress, he will fight for veterans to reduce wait times to see a doctor. "The fact they're still waiting weeks if not months is not right. I want to get to Congress to take care of that issue, personally" added Takai.

He says another priority is education to bring home federal dollars to help Hawaii's public schools.

Takai went on to say, "I'm the only one in the Legislature in the State that can say even before he got to Congress, he brought home federal dollars. I'm proud of the fact we created the Hawaii College Savings program. It's a program that helps families save for college which I believe is very important."

Takai says it's crucial to send a united delegation to capitol hill, with the loss of 90 years seniority, and few voices to advocate for Hawaii.

He explained the numbers, saying "4 members of 535 members of Congress, it's important for us to realize we need to build partners throughout the nation."

We also profiled his opponent, Republican Charles Djou.

The two will take part in our 1 hour live debate on KHNL Sunday at 8PM.

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