Rep. K. Mark Takai is promoted to Lt Colonel (photo by Mel Ah Ching)
Rep. K. Mark Takai is promoted to Lt Colonel (photo by Mel Ah Ching)
Rep. K. Mark Takai is promoted to Lt Colonel (photo by Mel Ah Ching)

VoteVets Action Fund, a national veterans advocacy group, will spend $800,000 on an advertising campaign to boost candidates in three races across the country, including that of Hawaii state Rep. Mark Takai.

Takai, a progressive Democrat running for Congress, will take on former Congressman Charles Djou, a Republican who served in 2010, in the November general election.

VoteVets plans to invest $180,000 into advertising to support Takai’s campaign.

The ad that will run is called “Served” and promotes Takai as an Army veteran, successful Hawaii state lawmaker and family man.

Takai served with the Hawaii National Guard for 14 years, and in 2009, was deployed to the Middle East.

As a state legislator, he served as chairman of House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, and in that role, proposed tax credit legislation to businesses hiring vets, worked to combat veteran homelessness and helped establish the Hawaii Veterans Court, which helps veterans secure social services and medical care. Takai was best known for establishing the Hawaii Medal of Honor, an annual ceremony that recognizes Hawaii service members who died in the line of duty, and the Gold Star Families License Plate Program.

VoteVets also backed Takai in the Democratic primary election in August. 

That organization invested $100,000 into that race, helping Takai beat a number of candidates including state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim.

Greg White, Hawaii State Chair for VoteVets.org, said the organization is backing Takai because: “From Kuwait to the State House, Mark has always been there for those who served in uniform. But, his record is so much more than that.  His dedication to Hawaii, and his constituents, has been boundless.  From Seniors to children, and all of the working men and women in between, Mark has been there.  He’ll carry that dedication to Congress, and make us all very proud.”

Takai’s opponent, Charles Djou, also served in the military, was deployed overseas to Afghanistan and during his brief time in Congress in 2010, served on the House Armed Services Committee.

VoteVets is the same organization that spent more than $200,000 on Tulsi Gabbard’s successful run for Congress in 2012.

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