19-year-old UH student runs for State Senate - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

19-year-old UH student runs for State Senate

Resa Tsuneyoshi Resa Tsuneyoshi
Michelle Kidani Michelle Kidani

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MILILANI (KHNL) - With Primaries less than a month away, Hawaii candidates are turning up the intensity level of their campaigns. In Central Oahu, there's one gutsy candidate who's attracting some unique attention.

She may be young, but University of Hawaii student Resa Tsuneyoshi is out to prove that she is more than qualified to face off with incumbent State Senator Ron Menor.

"I wouldn't say age is really a factor in this because as long as you have the heart and the determination for it, I think anything is possible," she said.

She's already proving that, as the youngest member serving on the Mililani Neighborhood Board. Her political resume dates back to 5th grade, when she was Vice President of her class.

She helped with Senator Daniel Akaka's campaign. She was the Senior Class President of Kamehameha Schools and worked as a Senate page in Washington D.C.

Still, at 19-years-old, there's a question over Resa's credibility.

"It's more her inexperience in the community. I think that would be a big factor. Age alone I don't think is but the fact that she doesn't have much experience and I think the people would take a close look at that," said Michelle Kidani, Resa's other opponent in the race for Senate, "but I wish her well because I have to admire her for taking that big step."

"When I was on the Senate floor, I saw so many changes, what they could do, the power that they had to help out the people, and I just love that, I love helping people," said Tsuneyoshi.

And that is the heart of Resa's campaign - to reach out to the young, and the young at heart, and prove that age is just a number. If she wins, Resa says her top priority is to improve the education system.

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