Candidate Announces Run for Kohala-Kona House SeatAugust 11, 2017, 2:45 PM HST (Updated August 11, 2017, 1:29 PM)
Former state Rep. David Tarnas announced his plans today to run for state Representative in House District 7 (Kohala-Kona) in the August 2018 Primary Election.
Tarnas lost the 2016 Primary Election by 181 votes to Cindy Evans, Tarnas’ press release said.
Tarnas, a professional environmental and community planner, served in the State House (N. Kona/S. Kohala) from 1994 to 1998.
“It was a very close race against a longtime incumbent,” said Tarnas. “The widespread support I received from voters in our community indicates that many people in the district are ready for a change. They are not satisfied with the status quo at the state legislature.”
In May, the 2017 session ended with signs of disorganization as House Speaker Joe Souki was ousted, committee chair positions shuffled and numerous important issues left unresolved, the press release stated.
A special legislative session will take place later this month on one unresolved issue—financing the Honolulu rail project, Tarnas said.
“As a former legislator with a successful legislative record, I understand the challenges of getting legislators to work together on policy changes to address complex issues,” explained Tarnas. “As a professional planner and community organizer, I have proven skills to resolve challenging conflicts and build consensus among competing stakeholders. Those skills are needed at the state legislature now.”
On what makes his candidacy different, Tarnas said, “Voters want more effective leadership to solve the problems in our state. Voters want leaders with practical experience, strong technical skills and a record of resolving local conflicts. As a State Representative, I would bring over 30 years of local experience with strong connections to the land and community. I will be effective because of what I’ve learned in my work as an environmental planner and as a father who raised two children in this community.”
“We are at a critical crossroads in Hawai’i and we must act now to build a sustainable economy for the 21st Century,” Tarnas said. “We can achieve greater self-reliance by diversifying our economy to reduce imports of food and energy and increase exports of local value-added resource-based products. Business regulations and taxes can be reformed. Our public education system can be strengthened to train our future workforce and entrepreneurs. These structural changes to create a stronger, more resilient economy are important long-term solutions. In the meantime, we must also address the many challenges our community faces today, like homelessness, drug abuse, domestic violence, lack of affordable housing, and soaring healthcare costs. Given my diverse experience and my work in the community, I understand the problems, as well as the possibilities and I know how to get things done.”