Mark Takano

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Mark Takano
Mark Takano 113th Congress - crop.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Jerry Lewis
Personal details
Born Mark Allan Takano
(1960-12-10) December 10, 1960 (age 57)
Riverside, California
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Harvard University
University of California,
Occupation High school teacher
Religion United Methodism
Website House website
Campaign website

Mark Allan Takano (born December 10, 1960) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for California's 41st congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, Takano has served on the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees since 1990. Upon taking office, Takano became the first openly gay non-white person in Congress.

Early life, education, and academic career

Takano was born in Riverside, California.[1] His family was relocated and interned from California to a "War Relocation Camp" during World War II.[2] He is Sansei, that is, the grandson of people born in Japan who immigrated to the United States.[3] He attended La Sierra High School of the Alvord Unified School District, where he graduated as class valedictorian.[4] In high school, he also participated in the Junior State of America, a national student-run organization centered around debate and civic engagement in young people, and was elected the Lieutenant Governor of the Southern California State.[5] He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Government in 1983.[6] He later graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside in 2010.[7]

He taught British literature in public schools for 23 years.[2] He was a member of the Republican Party through college, when he became a member of the Democratic Party.[6] In 1990 he was elected to the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees and has served on that body since then. While on the board, he shepherded a measure that provided Riverside Community College employees with domestic partner benefits.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives



Takano ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives during the 1992 elections in the California's 43rd congressional district. He won a seven-candidate Democratic primary with 29% of the vote.[2][8] During the campaign, Republican State Assemblyman Ray Haynes outed Takano, calling him a "homosexual liberal".[9] Republican Ken Calvert defeated Takano by 519 votes, 47%-46%.[10][11]


In 1994, Takano defeated Raven Lopez Workman in the Democratic primary, 70%-30%.[12] In the general election, Calvert defeated Takano 55%-38%.[13][14]


In July 2011, Takano announced he would run for the U.S. House in the newly redrawn California 41st congressional district, established in the redistricting following the 2010 United States Census.[1] Five candidates ran for the open seat. In the June 2012 open primary, John Tavaglione, a Republican, ranked first with 45% of the votes. Takano ranked second with 37%.[15] In the November general election, Takano defeated Tavaglione 58%-42%.[16][17] Takano became the first openly gay member of the House who is not white.[2][18][19]

Committee assignments


When Representative Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) circulated a draft letter opposing an immigration reform bill in 2013, asking for signatures, Takano marked it up in red pen like a high school assignment and gave it an F, with comments like, "exaggeration -- avoid hyperbole."[20] This was followed (in 2015) by a similar response to an Op-ed, written by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), on recent Net Neutrality legislation. In particular Rep. Takano took issue with the Senator's use of mixed metaphors "… brings together a perfect storm … the federal government wants to crash the party." and lack of factual evidence.[21]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Goad, Ben (July 1, 2011). "Congress: Takano will seek proposed Riverside-area seat". Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Johnson, Chris (December 22, 2011). "Takano on path to make history in Calif. race". Washington Blade. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  3. Furutani, Warren. "Welcoming a New Generation of Nikkei Leaders," Rafu Shimpo (Los Angeles). November 23, 2012; retrieved December 2, 2012.
  4. "Meet Mark | Mark Takano: Teacher for Congress". Mark Takano. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  5. "Notable Alumni of the Junior State of America". Junior State of America. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Harvard Grad Turns Democrat to Win Votes". The Harvard Crimson. October 21, 1992. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  7. [1]
  8. "CA District 43- D Primary Race - Jun 02, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  10. "CA District 43 Race - Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  11. "California House Race Could be a Soap Opera". Albany, Georgia: The Albany Herald. Associated Press. November 3, 1994 (via Google News Archive Search). p. 2A. Retrieved July 14, 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. "CA District 43 - D Primary Race - Jun 07, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  13. "CA District 43 Race - Nov 08, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  14. Morrison, Patt (November 11, 1994). "Snapshots of life in the Golden State. : In This Sleaziest of Races, Victor Won by a Mudslide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  15. "CA - District 41 - Open Primary Race - Jun 05, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  16. "CA - District 41 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  17. Goad, Ben (November 6, 2012). "Congress District 41: Takano has double-digit lead over Tavaglione in nationally watched race". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  18. David Crary, AP National Writer. "Record number of gays seeking seats in Congress". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  19. Candido, Sergio N. (October 29, 2012). "Top 5 Gay National Races". SFGN. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  20. Rep. Mark Takano Corrects Republican Letter, Proves He Will Always Be A Teacher, By Rebecca Klein, Huffington Post, 07/12/2013
  21. Rep. Mark Takano's response to Sen. Rubio's Politico magazine column, Rep. Mark Takano, 3/19/2015

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jerry Lewis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Eric Swalwell
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
David Valadao