By: Tianna Morimoto
HNN Summer Intern
HONOLULU, HAWAII (Hawaii News Now) — As a former state Department of Education executive, Ray L'heureux is focused on education as a top priority in his run for governor.
"You see a very large system," he said in an interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise. "If you look at the delivery of that education, we rank down in the bottom in terms of student achievement."
Instead of teachers teaching in a "templated, one-size-fits-all" style, he said he wants to allow them to cater to each student in what he calls "student-based learning" or "school empowerment."
"Teachers know best and I think we oughta let them have the freedom in the classroom that allow them to do that," he said.
This is L'heureux's first time running for office, but it's something he said was the right decision and a long-time coming.
"I didn't see that the voters of Hawaii had a whole lot of choices with regards to something other than the status quo, so for that reason I said, 'You know what, I think I can make a difference, I want to make a difference.'"
In the interview, he also discussed improving Hawaii's economy as another priority by being more fiscally transparent and also exercising laws that sit on the books – especially when it comes to housing.
"Hawaii is not that unmanageable," L'heureux said, pointing to stores like Costco and Sam's Club. "Add housing to that equation, we start seeing an unsustainable cost of living.
Another fun fact: L'heureux was part of Marine Helicopter Squadron One, flying various U.S. presidents like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
L'heureux is one of the several candidates running for the gubernatorial spot for in office.
The primary election is set to take place on Aug. 11.