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Kaneshiro looks to reenter public service

‘OMA‘O — After his unanimous appointment by the Kaua‘i County Council to fill Bill “Kaipo” Asing’s vacant council seat in July, cattle rancher and farmer Daryl Kaneshiro has decided to return to public service by seeking a full-term on the seven-member legislative body.

“Daryl’s known as the ‘no bull’ candidate because he has built a reputation for being humble and straightforward and his innate ability to communicate effectively with everyone from farmers to business and community leaders, grassroots organizers, and high level government officials has enabled him to bring people together and get things done,” state Rep. James Tokioka, D-15th District, states in a news release this week.

Voters will decide at the Nov. 4 General Election who will serve on the council from the field of 14 candidates.

“I have had the honor of serving our community for many years, from my time as executive assistant and director of economic development under Mayor Kunimura, and four terms on the Kaua‘i County Council,” Kaneshiro said in a press release Thursday. “And now, with so many veteran council members leaving office, I want to ensure continuity with the important work our council and administration is doing at this critical time in the history of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau.”

The candidate said there are many issues he wishes to focus on as a council member, from revitalizing Kaua‘i’s economy to preserving agricultural lands and natural resources.

“One of my priorities is putting my ranch and ag experience to work by finding immediate and effective ways to sustain our people with what we can grow and produce right here. We need to reduce the strain on Kaua‘i families’ wallets and provide more, healthy, wholesome food that is raised and grown on-island,” Kaneshiro said. “Part of what makes Kaua‘i unique and sacred is our agricultural heritage and our ability to take care of ourselves, but this requires careful planning, new technologies and marketing strategies and keeping the delicate balance between economic development and environmental protection.”

“Many people, both in the agriculture industry and outside of it, have urged Daryl to run because who else of all the candidates or current public officials knows agriculture like Daryl? No one,” said Roy Oyama, a farmer and strong advocate of agriculture on Kaua‘i, in a press release. “Daryl has an entrepreneurial spirit, he wants to protect our ag lands and he knows firsthand what it will take for Kaua‘i to grow its own food. That’s why we need Daryl on our council.”

If elected, Kaneshiro said he also wishes to explore creative ways of improving county infrastructure in a manner that allows reasonable growth; mitigate the adverse impacts of growth and development; investigate waste-to-energy alternatives; and take immediate steps to resolve the island-wide housing crisis, traffic gridlock, tax reform initiatives and solid waste issues.

Born in Waimea, Kaneshiro is a third generation Kaua‘i farmer. His parents are Satoshi “Sugar” and Dorothy Kaneshiro. He has two sons, Arryl and Kye Kaneshiro, and one hanai daughter, Leah Emura. 

Arryl Kaneshiro and Michelle Emura are the chair and treasurer of his campaign, respectively. 

Kaneshiro is currently the owner and operator of ‘Oma‘o Farms, a cattle and sheep ranch, the account executive of Kauai Petroleum, the wholesaler of 76 Fuels throughout the islands and the owner of Koloa Town Activity Center.

A longtime entrepreneur and small business owner, Kaneshiro was previously a co-owner of Something Fishy, a fish market in Lihu‘e, which provided locally caught fish to the community; and Expressions, a Lihu‘e retail clothing shop. With a partner, he also helped develop the first local cruise ship on the island, Napali Cruise Lines, that would take passengers from the Westside of Kaua‘i to Na Pali, lessening the burden on the North Shore community. Kaneshiro has been a competitive surfer with the legendary Mokihana Surf Club and is an avid hunter and fisherman. 

As part of his government service, Kaneshiro has served on the National Association of Counties’ Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee as vice chair and Rural Action Caucus Committee; organized large scale litter and beach clean-ups; initiated the Aloha Greeters program; and activated numerous programs to advance economic diversity and seed new local small businesses.

During his tenure on the council, Kaneshiro served as chair of various committees.

“My service on these committees has given me the insight to transform ideas into action, to respond to our island’s most pressing needs,” he said. “And, my time away from government work in these last couple of years has given me new insights, more clarity and a stronger resolve than ever before.

“I will bring my considerable experience in business and government and my great love for this island, her resources and her people to do what is right and I will work tirelessly to nurture our paradise today and future generations to come,” Kaneshiro said in the release.

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