Who Is Mazie Hirono's Husband? New Details On Leighton Kim Oshima

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Since 2013, Mazie Hirono has served as a junior Democratic U.S. Senator from Hawaii, being the first woman from the state to ever hold the position. Before her run in the Senate, Hirono was a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives for 10 years and was the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii for eight years. Not only is she the first woman Senator from Hawaii, but she’s the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate — period! Talk about making history.

Since her time as a Senator, Hirano has been a supporter of immigrants, health care rights, veterans, women, survivors of sexual assault, and has openly challenged President Trump on multiple occasions for his off-the-wall comments. She is also a cancer survivor and has helped others get through their treatment by speaking up about her own experiences.


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Though she is courageous and is changing the way we think — or trying, at least — what about her personal life? Who is Mazie Hirono’s husband and what role does he play in her success? Here are 7 things to know about Leighton Kim Oshima.

1. He has a law degree.

Oshima earned a law degree from George Washington University, and worked as both a litigator in the state attorney general’s office, as well as a private practice. He currently works in a private practice in Honolulu, specializing in insurance defense.

2. They met at a library.

The couple first met at a Young Democrats meeting back in 1973 at the Waikiki library. According to Oshima, “We were duly unimpressed with each other: Mazie in her rubber slippers and pedal pushers with all these tablets and notepads, a huge stack of notebooks. And I’m just like, who takes notes at a Young Democrats meeting?”

Hirono was president of the group at the time. He continued, “She looked at me and said, ‘So I hear you’re an attorney’ in a way that made me feel embarrassed to be an attorney.”

3. They previously dated before breaking up.

They dated and broke up over 13 years before they married. But they didn’t have an amicable breakup. Hirono said, “It was one of those breakups where I burned all of his pictures.” 


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4. They’ve been married for 30 years.

Hirono and Oshima eventually married in 1987 and by that time, Oshima had already been married and divorced with one child. Hirono is stepmother to Oshima’s daughter Malia. According to Hirono, “When we got married, I told him this better be good because I don’t have time for another one.”

5. He’s not interested in politics.

The spouses of many politicians often find themselves doing behind-the-scenes work to support their partners and though Oshima is a voice of support for Hirono, that doesn’t mean he ever dabbles in the spotlight. He says his job as a political spouse is to “try to be anonymous and quiet and supportive.”

He also notes that male spouses aren’t usually asked to take on responsibilities, saying, “People don’t ask me to serve on committees, so it’s unfair in that respect.”

6. But he always sticks up for her.

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When Hirono was battling cancer, he was the first person to agree that she should not retire given her diagnosis. “She loves what she’s doing. This is her purpose in life, to serve. I have to remind myself that she’s a cancer survivor,” he’s said.

He also acknowledges that people have a tendency to underestimate his wife but that, “Ithey always have because of her style. She works hard and she works behind the scenes. She’s not out for publicity.”

7. They live in Hawaii.

The couple live with Hirono’s mother, Laura, and have been there for each other through “decades of multigenerational living.” Laura cooked and took care of the yard until she had a stroke but according to Oshima, “Between my brother-in-law and me, we are the primary caregivers.”

He also notes that he does like to visit Washington, D.C. but absolutely hates the weather and the lack of plate lunches. He said, “They don’t have Rainbow Drive-In.” Guess he’ll just have to settle for salad in the meantime.


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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.