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Hawaii State Representative, Dist 8

Duties: The Hawaii State House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Hawaii State Legislature. The Hawaii House of Representatives is a part-time body.Areas Represented: Hawi, Kapaau, Halaula, Waiaka, Waimea, Makahalau, Palihooukapapa, Waikii, a portion of Waikoloa, a portion of Waikui, Kawaihae, MahukonaHow Elected: The house consists of 51 members elected from an equal number of respective representative districts. A Representative must be a Hawaii resident not less than three years, is at least 18 years old, and is a qualified voter of the representative district from which the person seeks to be elected. Candidates for state legislative offices who are nominated in the primary election and are unopposed in the general election will be deemed elected to the office sought after the primary election regardless of the number of votes received by that candidate (Hawaii State Constitution, Article III, Section 4).Term: Two years, not subject to term limits.Base Salary (FY2022): $62,604 plus $225/day if living outside Oahu, $10/day for members living on Oahu; Speaker of the House - $70,104

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    Monique CobbAdams PERREIRA

  • Candidate picture

    Makai FREITAS

  • Candidate picture

    David TARNAS

Biographical Information

Please provide a brief Candidate Statement, describing your qualifications and why you are running for this office.

If elected, how would you stop political corruption or the appearance of corruption?

What, if any, actions would you work towards in your first 100 days to address the threats facing Hawaii due to climate change?

What legislative steps will you take to reform the criminal legal system, from pre-trial procedures, sentencing, incarceration and re-entry?

Education Hilo High School
Military/Community Service US Navy
Campaign Address PO Box 1055
Kamuela, Hi 96743
Campaign Phone 8089383370
Campaign Email
Wife, Mother, Grandmother, small business owner, veteran. I am running for office because I care about the future of Hawaii. Born and raised here I see so many local families leaving the islands for better job opportunities and affordable housing. My husband and I recently contemplated moving to the states. Frustrated with Hawaii's endless mandates, business closing, and cost of living increasing daily. Before throwing in the towel, I wanted to do something, I wanted to be a part of the change. I'm ready to step up and be the kind of public servant that listens to the people.
The fight against corruption is a collective responsibility involving both public and private sector, civil society, media, research organizations, think tanks and citizens. We need more transparency. Elected officials should be held to higher standard.
Re-evaluate our recycling programs. Hawaii county no longer collects plastic or paper because there is no buyer. We need to reimagine other uses for some of these materials.
With skyrocketing inflation, crime is on the rise. We need protect the law abiding residents as well as visitors of Hawaii. The recent HB 1567 “no cash bail bill” that’s sitting on the Governors desk despite opposition from prosecutors and law enforcement groups is not the direction we want to go.
Education Bachelor's in Political Science - University of Arizona
Military/Community Service n/a
Campaign Phone 808-778-7666
Campaign Email
Campaign Twitter Handle @n/a
Aloha – I’m Makai Freitas. The "why” for me is to do everything I can to help our community overcome the challenges that we have - affordable housing, healthcare, education and the ability to help our working class people earn a livable wage. We will only be able to overcome these challenges if we work together. It is essential that we do so for the future for our keiki. They deserve better. They are our future. I'm a working man, born, raised, and educated in Hawai’i. I'm not shy about hard work and listening to learn, and I believe we are stronger together.
Campaign fundraisers should be banned during session. I have much to learn about the internal workings of the legislature, but know from labor contract negotiation experience that my kuleana is to listen to learn, and also that consistent communication is essential…that constituents will not always agree with me, but I owe them a clear, timely explanation of why I make a decision or take an action. The Legislature has several layers of safeguards to try to prevent abuse, conflict of interest and/or corruption including the State Ethics Commission, Campaign Spending Commission and Legislative leadership’s responsibilities to monitor members. These must be followed and enforced.
We must continue to prioritize our 2045 State, and 2030 County commitment to being 100% dependent on renewables – thereby reducing/eliminating the importation/use of fossil fuels. Hawai’i is the leader in the country in this but we cannot take it for granted. My responsibility in the first 100 days and thereafter is to support environmentally and culturally friendly firm power alternatives – especially geothermal - as well as wind, solar, hydro, hydrogen and other proven technologies. This shift to renewables can benefit consumers, including farmers and ranchers – if done right – with reduced energy costs. Reducing our dependence of fossil fuels is also a homeland security issue.
The criminal legal system is not something I have had direct experience with, but I am painfully aware of the large number of Hawaiians and other people of color who are incarcerated, and that incarceration and punishment seem to be prioritized over dealing with the root causes – from education (including Civics 101), to mental health supports to seriously addressing the impacts of poverty, need for affordable housing and accessible healthcare. I will focus on these root causes initially but am committed to learning more about Hawai’i’s criminal legal system and appreciate LWV’s calling these out to us as candidates.
Education Tarnas received his B.A. in Political Science from Kalamazoo College (1982) and Master of Marine Affairs from University of Washington (1985), specializing in marine policy and coastal resources management and planning. Tarnas received further training from the Hawai‘i Agriculture Leadership Training Program (1993) at the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and the Pacific Century Fellows program (1998).
Military/Community Service David Tarnas is in his fourth term as the Hawai'i State Representative for North and South Kohala Districts, and North Kona (1994-1998, 2018-2022). He has served as the Chair of the House Committee on Ocean Recreation and Marine Resources and Chair of the House Committee on Water and Land. In addition to being a veteran legislator, Tarnas has also spent over 20 years working as an environmental and community planning consultant for public and private sector projects in Hawai'i relating to residential and commercial developments, small boat harbors, commercial harbors, highways, scientific installations, coastal parks and marine managed areas, ocean recreation, agriculture, forestry, watershed management, water resources and land use, endangered species, renewable energy production, education, and health policy. Tarnas previously served as the West Hawai'i Extension Agent for the University of Hawai'i Sea Grant Extension Service, tasked with resolving conflicts resulting from coastal development. Tarnas is a former member of the Community Advisory Group for the U.S. Army Garrison Hawai‘i Pohakuloa, former member of the Hawai‘i County Agriculture Advisory Commission, and former Hawai‘i County Chairman for the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i. He is a current member of the Waimea Community Association and Waikoloa Community Leadership Council.
Campaign Phone (808) 987-5810
Campaign Email
Campaign Twitter Handle @VoteDavidTarnas
I am running for state office to serve the community where my wife Carolyn and I have worked and raised our two children, who are now pursuing their own careers. My experience as a parent, an owner of a small business and a public servant provides me a unique perspective on how things work and don't work in our state. My 36-year career in Hawaiʻi as a planner and legislator demonstrates a solid track record of resolving conflicts related to land use, natural resources, ecosystem protection, community health, and education. I am thoughtful, diligent, and work collaboratively with stakeholders.
Personally, I demonstrate honesty and integrity in my actions and behavior as a State Representative while working during legislative session and throughout the year in my interactions with constituents and community members by being courteous, polite, responsive and transparent. I condemned the illegal actions of the two former legislators who were indicted earlier this year. I supported legislation to tighten requirements for ethics training and prohibit fundraisers during legislative sessions. Next session, I pledge to support additional changes to statutes and rules to stop corruption.
In my first 100 days, I will introduce new legislation to help the State adapt to the effects of climate change. I will also work with State agencies and local nonprofit organizations to implement the policies, programs and projects previously approved by the legislature including limiting seawalls that contribute to coastal erosion; planning for infrastructure improvements to adapt to sea level rise in harbors, highways, airports and public buildings; requiring real estate sellers to disclose if a property may be affected by sea level rise; and improving wildfire prevention and recovery.
I will support criminal justice reform through reforming the cash bail system for first time nonviolent offenders; reforming drug policy laws so drug offenders receive medical treatment rather than prison time; legalizing adult use of cannabis to stop the tragedies caused by failed drug prohibition policies; providing support for culturally-grounded programs for incarcerated individuals to learn life skills, technical training, and address substance abuse and anger management problems; and providing support for programs helping incarcerated women and their families reintegrate and heal.