Mark Takano

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Mark Takano
Mark Takano 113th Congress official photo.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 (1960-12-10) December 10, 1960 (age 53)[1]
Riverside, California
Political party Democratic
Residence Riverside, California
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Teacher at Rialto High School
Religion United Methodist
Website Mark Takano: Teacher for Congress
Representative Mark Takano

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 non-white openly gay member of Congress.

Early life, education, and academic career[edit]

Takano was born in Riverside, California.[2] His family was relocated and interned from California to a "War Relocation Camp" during World War II.[3] He is Sansei, that is, the grandson of people born in Japan who immigrated to the United States.[4] He attended La Sierra High School of the Alvord Unified School District, where he graduated as class valedictorian.[5] He graduated from Harvard University in 1983.[6]

He taught British literature in public schools for 23 years.[3] 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.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



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.[3][7] During the campaign, Republican State Assemblyman Ray Haynes outed Takano, calling him a "homosexual liberal".[8] Republican Ken Calvert defeated Takano by 519 votes, 47%-46%.[9][10]


In 1994, Takano defeated Raven Lopez Workman in the Democratic primary, 70%-30%.[11] In the general election, Calvert defeated Takano 55%-38%.[12][13]


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.[2] 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%.[14] In the November general election, Takano defeated Tavaglione 58%-42%.[15][16] Takano became the first openly gay member of the House who is not white.[3][17][18]

Committee assignments[edit]


  1. ^ "Mark Allan Takano - California - Bio, News, Photos". Washington Times. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Goad, Ben (July 1, 2011). "Congress: Takano will seek proposed Riverside-area seat". Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Johnson, Chris (December 22, 2011). "Takano on path to make history in Calif. race". Washington Blade. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Furutani, Warren. "Welcoming a New Generation of Nikkei Leaders," Rafu Shimpo (Los Angeles). November 23, 2012; retrieved December 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Meet Mark | Mark Takano: Teacher for Congress". Mark Takano. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Harvard Grad Turns Democrat to Win Votes". The Harvard Crimson. October 21, 1992. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "CA District 43- D Primary Race - Jun 02, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "CA District 43 Race - Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "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)
  11. ^ "CA District 43 - D Primary Race - Jun 07, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ "CA District 43 Race - Nov 08, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "CA - District 41 - Open Primary Race - Jun 05, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ "CA - District 41 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ David Crary, AP National Writer. "Record number of gays seeking seats in Congress". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ Candido, Sergio N. (October 29, 2012). "Top 5 Gay National Races". SFGN. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]

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

January 3, 2013 – present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Eric Swalwell
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
David Valadao