By: Kristine Uyeno
(KHNL) - When Mazie Hirono visits a school, she's also revisiting her childhood.
She even stops to play hopskotch, a fond memory of her public school days.
"I'm a living example of how important education is because I'm an immigrant, because education was the opportunity for me," said Hirono.
That's why education is her top priority and why she feels so comfortable in a classroom. On this day, she's chatting with Ahuimanu Elementary students in Kaneohe.
"I used to be the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii. I think you were kind of young. Yeah, it was pretty cool," she said.
Hirono says she's committed to educational reform, supporting quality teaching and opposing the No Child Left Behind Act.
"How can you possibly support a system that might say to these kids, you vote of off any school. That isn't the way to encourage them to love learning and to do their best," said Hirono.
If elected, she believes her political experience will give her the edge.
"You know, 22 years of experience at two levels of government to hit the ground running in Congress," said Hirono.
She'd also try to change the country's involvement with the Middle East.
"We were misled, we need to redeploy our troops out of Iraq by the end of this year. We need to move to full sovereignty in Iraq in the same time frame," she said.