LIHUE — You could say that politics runs in Arryl Kaneshiro’s blood.
His father, Daryl Kaneshiro, after all, served on the Kauai County Council for six terms between 1998 and 2010.
But when the Koloa native was asked if he would ever consider running for a seat on the seven-member board, Arryl Kaneshiro said his answer had always been no.
One important thing, however, helped him eventually change his mind.
“There is a lot that went into the decision,” Kaneshiro said. “Ultimately, there comes a time when we, the younger generation, need to step up and start taking more progressive roles in the community.”
The 32-year-old Lihue resident officially filed his nomination papers Thursday to run for a County Council seat in this year’s election as more than a dozen of his family members stood by his side.
“Having been raised in Koloa all my life, I have been fortunate enough to grow up Kauai-style surrounded by family, friends, and tight-knit community, attending Koloa School and Kauai High School, playing sports, hunting and ranching,” Kaneshiro said. “This upbringing is special to me and molded me into the adult that I am today.”
After moving to the Mainland for college, the Pacific University alumus and certified public accountant moved back to Kauai in 2007 after working as a senior accountant at Schwindt & Co. in Portland, Ore.
He now works as a project specialist at Grove Farm Company and serves on several county boards and community organizations, including the County of Kauai Cost Control Commission, Kauai Watershed Alliance, and Kiwanis Club of Kauai.
And when Kaneshiro isn’t busy juggling all of those tasks, chances are you can find him on weekends working on his family’s sheep ranch in Omao.
“I believe I can represent the people of Kauai and Niihau well because I am a regular, everyday Kauai resident who works hard and wants to make the best life for myself and my family,” the fourth-generation farmer said. “I think that’s what most of us want at the end of the day.”
Among his current priorities, Kaneshiro said he wants to “work to strengthen and diversify the economy, increase jobs that pay a living wage and enable residents to have a high quality of life.”
“If we can get together and carefully consider the issues at hand, the challenges, and the opportunities, then we can make good decisions together,” Kaneshiro said. “If we all get involved and move in one direction, we can make a positive difference for Kauai.”
• Darin Moriki, county government reporter, can be reached at 245-0428 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @darinmoriki.