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In Sakai city, the other designated city of the prefecture, Osami Takeyama had been elected mayor in 2009 with Hashimoto's support against incumbent Keisuke Kihara who was supported by the established national parties. In the unified local elections in April 2011, the Osaka Restoration Association won an outright majority in the prefectural assembly and became strongest party in the assemblies of both Osaka City and Sakai City. On November 27, 2011, in an unprecedented double election, Hashimoto and Secretary-General Ichirō Matsui were elected as Mayor of Osaka City and Governor of Osaka Prefecture respectively.
When the Japan Restoration Association, also headed by Hashimoto and Matsui, was founded in 2012 it was announced that the Osaka organization would be placed under the umbrella of the national party.