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Mark Takano (born December 10, 1960)

Mark Allan Takano (born December 10, 1960) is a Japanese American teacher and politician from California. A Democrat, Takano has served on the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees since 1990.

In November 2012, Takano was elected to the United States House of Representatives, defeating John Tavaglione in the general election. Upon taking office, Takano will become the first non-white openly gay member of Congress.

Takano was a member of the Republican Party through college, when he became a member of the Democratic Party. 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.

Takano ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives during the 1992 elections. That year, Takano defeated six Democrats in the primary election, securing the nomination in California's 43rd congressional district. Takano lost by 519 votes against Republican Ken Calvert in the 1992 general election. In a rematch between Takano and Calvert in the 1994 elections, Calvert again defeated Takano.

In July 2011, Takano announced he would run for the U.S. House in the redrawn California's 41st congressional district, established in the redistricting following the 2010 United States Census. He faced Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione in the general election.

The initial count from all the precincts in the district showed Takano leading Tavaglione by 56.4% to 43.6%, with same-day vote-by-mail, provisional, and damaged ballots still to be counted. Takano is set to become the first openly gay member of the House who is also not White.

Takano was born in Riverside, California. His family was relocated and interned from California to "War Relocation Camps" during World War II. He is Sansei, which means that he is the grandson of of people born in Japan who immigrated to the US.

He attended Harvard University, graduating in 1983. He taught in public school for 23 years, focusing on British literature.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Takano

Further Readings:

Gender Dynamics in Congressional Elections (Contemporary American Politics) by Richard Logan Fox
Paperback: 263 pages
Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc (October 28, 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0761902392
ISBN-13: 978-0761902393
Amazon: Gender Dynamics in Congressional Elections

What happens in an electoral environment involving female candidates? Do women face different challenges during the electoral process? Do male candidates pay more attention to women's issues, or make other strategic and behavioural changes, when opposed by a female candidate?

Richard Logan Fox asks these and other questions with compelling evidence which suggests that women candidates are having a profound impact on the electoral process. The author studies the congressional races of 1992 and 1994 in California, in which a record nineteen women were candidates for House seats. He contrasts the experiences of both the male and female candidates, and sheds light on the different challenges women face during political campaign.

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