Ikaika Anderson is not only one of the candidates for the Congressional district seat one, he's a member of the Honolulu City Council and father of four with a unique tie to politics.
Ikaika has spent a lot of time introducing himself and shaking the hands of total strangers. It is all part of running for office and Anderson does it with ease.
"That's actually one of the easiest and most enjoyable parts of the campaign is going up to people shaking their hand and getting to look them in the eye and ask them for their trust and for their vote," said Ikaika.
You could say he was raised to do this. Ikaika's grandfather Whitney Anderson, or Pops, was first elected to the state house in 1978. Ikaika says Pops helped care for him.
"Whenever I didn't have school and there was no one available to babysit me, I ended up tagging along with Pops in his Capitol office," recalled Ikaika.
That proximity to politics shaped his path. After graduating from Kamehameha Schools in 1996 he considered becoming a lifeguard, but first campaigned with Pops.
"I helped him get through his re-election. He was re-elected and it was after that, the following year, when the legislative session started that I went to look for a job at the state House of Representatives," said Ikaika.
He went on to graduate from the University of Hawaii and has represented the Windward side on the Honolulu City Council since 2009.
So why run for Congress?
"We need someone in Congress that understands Hawaii's working class of people. That's what I am. I'm a young spouse. I'm a young father. My wife and I are doing the best we can to bring up a family here in Hawaii. While raising together four children, we survive on my income," said Ikaika.
If elected, the 36-year-old candidate would be the only member of Congress of Hawaiian ancestry.
"We do need to have somebody in Congress serving our Native Hawaiian constituency. I think it can be argued quite successfully that when the Native Hawaiian community prospers, the State of Hawaii prospers," said Ikaika.
He does not regret becoming a lifeguard, though sometimes...
"I look outside my office window a lot on a nice day and think, 'Wow, being outside would be nice,'" said Ikaika.
You'll have a chance to see Ikaika Anderson and all of the Congressional district one democratic candidates square off in our debate on Wednesday, July 23 at 8 p.m. It will air live on KITV4.
There will also be an live stream of the debate on KITV.com.