Coffee with a Candidate: Elise Hatsuko Kaneshiro, Republican Candidate for Congress

Coffee with a Candidate: Elise Hatsuko Kaneshiro, Republican Candidate for Congress

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Elise Hatsuko Kaneshiro says she’s running for Congress because she wants to serve her community.

Kaneshiro, a Republican, is running to represent the second congressional district. At 25, she sees her age and lack of political experience as an asset ― not an impediment to drumming up support.

She just graduated with her law degree from the University of Hawaii and is preparing for the bar exam.

Here are some of the questions she took on in our interview:

  • This is one of our nation’s highest positions, what makes you qualified, especially given your young age?

I think that my age, although it may be something that can be seen as a weakness, I think it is something that drives me. Just seeing other young politicians come out and try to represent their age group.

  • What do you think about what’s going on right now in terms of the nationwide protest and much of the criticism targeted at not only the police but also President Trump?

I had wonderful opportunities throughout my law school year to research various sorts of trauma as well as institutional racism and the mass incarceration problem that we really have as a country.

I definitely think that a house divided against itself cannot stand. If I am elected to Congress, I will work to establish personal relationships with every member of Congress in order to really move forward.

  • What would be your big platform, especially right now as we’re in the middle of an economic crisis and a public health crisis?

My three pillars are wellness, finance and education. I’m really geared toward preventative treatment toward all societal illnesses so I think that taking care of ourselves, nutrition, movement, mental and emotional health as well as spiritual wellness is really important. ... Empowering the next generation to just really become responsible and contributing citizens.

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