First-term Congressman passed away on Wednesday after battling pancreatic cancer.
Sad news. U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, a first-term Congressman from Hawaii's first district, died Wednesday morning in Honolulu, nine months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 49.
Born and raised in Oahu, Takai was a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard and veteran of the Iraq War. At the age of 27, he was elected to the Hawaii State Legislature, where he served for twenty years before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014.
Last fall, Takai confirmed that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and underwent surgery to remove a tumor in his pancreas, followed by chemotherapy. In February, he announced that he would seek re-election, but later announced that he would not run for a second term after learning the cancer had spread.
"Right now, for the sake of my family, I need to focus on getting better rather than getting re-elected," Takai said in a statement at the time. "Although I will not be running for re-election, I intend to serve out the remainder of my term in Congress. There is still much work that I am determined to see through for Hawaii and our nation over the next few months."
A statement from his office said Takai passed away at his home, surrounded by his family.