We've been introducing you to the Democrats running for Congress ahead of our debate on July 23.
On Wednesday night, a man in his third term in the state Senate, representing Ewa Beach. This immigrant and father is not only lawmaker, but he also has a creative side.
Meet Will Espero.
Flanked by his parents, state Sen. Will Espero was working hard to catch the attention of passing drivers.
His mother is 79 and his father is 81, and they never miss a campaign event.
“They are my No. 1 fans and supporters,” said Espero, a District 1 candidate.
Espero's father was in the Navy, and the family of Filipino immigrants moved around the world, station to station.
The state senator came here after college in 1982.
“Being one who has roamed around the world and lived in different places every two or three years, my roots are here, this is where I bought my first home here. My children were born here, and this is my home, this is my fate and my destiny,” Espero said.
The 53-year-old father of three has served in the state Legislature since 1999. Unlike many other state lawmakers in the part-time Legislature, Espero does not have another job.
“Fortunately, I don’t have a lot of bills, so I don’t have to earn a lot of money, and my children are finished with college, and I feel that now I’m able to devote all of my time and energy to working for my district,” he said.
What is his top issue?
“Hawaii is becoming, in my opinion, a state of haves and have-nots, and whether we can sustain a quality of life for our youth, as well as our senior citizens,” he said.
He said he’s is also passionate about prison reform, responsible development, and space and technology.
When he's not writing legislation, he's often still writing.
“On Sunday, I write a haiku. And I call it Sunday haiku, and I also put together a booklet of my haiku. I do cartoon, and I’ve written a few songs as well. So, I guess, is that the left side of my brain? One of those sides is active in me,” he said.
Espero and all of the District 1 Democratic candidates will square off in our debate next Wednesday at 8 p.m.