Paul Bannai

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Paul T. Bannai (born July 4, 1920, in Delta, Colorado) is an American politician who was the first Japanese American to ever serve in the California State Legislature. He served in the State Assembly as a Republican legislator from 1973 until 1980, when he was defeated for reelection by Democrat Richard Floyd.

Legislative career[edit]

He represented the 67th District in his first term but was then reapportioned into the 53rd District, where he served for the rest of his time in the legislature. Bannai served on the following committees: Criminal Justice, Finance and Insurance, Veterans Affairs, Ways and Means, and Rules.


Prior to serving in the legislature, Bannai served on the Gardena City Council and the Gardena Planning Commission. After his defeat, Bannai served as Chief Memorial Affairs Director for National Cemetery System which is part of the Veterans Administration. During World War II, Bannai enlisted in the United States Army and served with the 442nd Infantry Regiment and the Army Intelligence Service.

External links[edit]

"Paul Takeo Bannai, Chief Memorial Affairs Director National Cemetery System Veterans Administration 1981-1985". Retrieved 2008-04-09. [dead link]

California Assembly
Preceded by
Larry Townsend
California State Assemblyman, 67th District
Succeeded by
Jerry Lewis
Preceded by
Bill Greene
California State Assemblyman, 53rd District
Succeeded by
Richard Floyd