Congressman Mark Takai died on July 20, 2016. His colleagues are remembering him as a person and as a public servant. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard appeared on Sunrise to share her memories. She said as the only 2 representatives from Hawaii, she got to talk story with him everyday on the House floor when they needed to vote. That was sometimes 2 or 3 times a day, so she spent a lot of time with Takai.
They were also on the Armed Services committee together. Gabbard said she was very grateful to work with him in representing Hawaii as a veteran and as a soldier. Both served on the Hawaii National Guard and were even deployed together to Iraq. Because of that, she said they both knew what an important role they had.
Gabbard first met Takai in the state house in 2002. He served there for 20 years before becoming a congressman in 2014. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October of 2015. In recent months, despite undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, Gabbard said he had incredible strength and resilience. Even when facing a personal challenge like this one, he was dedicated to doing his best for the people.
A special election will be held for his seat in the general election in November. In the meantime, Gabbard said she is working with his staff to make sure the constituents in Hawaii's 1st congressional district are represented at the Capitol.
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