Hirono taps Takamura to be her chief of staff
U.S. congresswoman-elect Mazie Hirono has appointed former state representative Carl Takamura to be her chief of staff.
Takamura, who will be based in Hawaii, will be Hirono's chief policy adviser and oversee both her Washington, D.C., and Hawaii offices, according to an announcement from her office.
Hirono, a Democrat and a former lieutenant governor, last month beat Republican state Sen. Bob Hogue to win the 2nd Congressional District seat representing rural Oahu and the other islands.
Hirono snared 61 percent of the vote to Hogue's 39 percent.
U.S. Rep. Ed Case, a Democrat, gave up his seat to mount a bid to oust U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. Case lost to Akaka in the Sept. 23 primary.
Takamura served two terms in the state House representing the urban Honolulu neighborhoods of Moiliili and McCully.
But Hirono highlighted Takamura's roots in her district, noting his grandparents were pioneering families of the Kona coffee industry on the Big Island.
For the past 16 years, Takamura has been the executive director of the Hawaii Business Roundtable in Honolulu, a nonprofit organization that promotes Hawaii's economic vitality and social health, Hirono's office said in a news release issued Saturday. The Roundtable is best known for its ongoing work to revitalize Hawaii's public education system.
Takamura served in the government affairs and sales and marketing divisions of GTE Hawaiian Tel. He was also a special assistant to Gov. George Ariyoshi and an instructor at Windward Community College.
In other appointments, Hirono said Honolulu lawyer Francis M. Nakamoto, a partner with Ayabe, Chong, Nishimoto, Sia & Nakamura, would be the director of her Washington office.
Susan Kodani will be Hirono's deputy chief of staff in Washington. Kodani has served for over 20 years in community relations at organizations like the Bishop Museum and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.
Yvonne W.M. Lau is due to become director of Hirono's Hawaii District Office. Lau was previously the investigator supervisor for the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission.