Robert Herkes (D): State Representative, District 5

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  • Name: Robert (Bob) Herkes
  • Current job: Retired Hotel executive
  • Residence: How long you’ve lived in the district: 22 years.  Third generation Hawaii Island resident
  • Background: What qualifies you for the position? What else have you run for? Have you been in public office before and if so, what position? Hawaii County Police Commission, Hawaii County Council, Hawaii State Senate, 18 years in the state House.
  • Major issues: What are the biggest issue in your district/state and your proposed solutions?
  • Natural Disaster Preparedness.  I have introduced a bill for that last ten years that has passed the House and dies in the Senate.  A new administration may help.  Water.  There are 230p mile stretches in the district with no County water.  I will revue the water code.  60,000 on Hawaii Island are on catchment including me.
  • Budget philosophy: What is your budget philosophy? Do you foresee increases in revenue through tax hikes and fees or do you believe in cutting spending? We should eliminate the state income tax and concentrate on the GET.  We need to identify state agencies  that do not need GET support such as DOT and DCCA  and concentrate on education and Public Safety.  This way we capture the spending from off island residents.
  • Taxes and fees: Do you believe Hawaii’s taxes should be lowered or increased? If you do plan to raise taxes and fees, which specific taxes or fees would you increase? Or would you sign a pledge that says you will not raise taxes?
  • See above.
  • Rail: If the city has difficulty raising enough revenue for the rail, would you support state tax support for the rail project? Not my issue.  It is an Oahu issue.
  • Legalized Gambling: Do you believe gambling should be legalized in Hawaii in any form and if so, in what form? Yes but not the Las Vegas model.  There are many areas with very low key gambling.  Puerto Rico has a good model, you do not even know that there are casinos in the hotels.
  • Public Education: What are your plans to support the public education system while ensuring accountability and results for our students? Do you support an appointed or elected school board?Someone has to be in charge.  We need an appointed Board.  The leg. should stay out of it and let people know deal with it.
  • Economic Growth: What are your plans to promote long-term economic growth for Hawaii? Dereg.  More competition
  • Crime: What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live and visit? Increased police presence and tougher laws and sentencing.
  • Second Amendment: Would you support concealed carry or more freedom for law abiding firearms owners, do you feel the current laws should remain in place, or do you believe stricter gun laws should be in place? Current gun laws are fine.  I am a long time hunter
  • Homeless: What is your solution to homelessness? The private sector can build affordable housing if government would get out of  the way.
  • Compact with Micronesia: Micronesians are able to freely move to Hawaii, which they are doing in large numbers to take advantage of the public education system, medical services and other government benefits. But the governor and other public officials say they are taxing Hawaii’s resources and costing the state more than $100 million a year. This is a federal decision, but would you share your view on whether the Compact with Micronesia should remain in place, should there be some parameters put on the Compact or do you have other solutions? The federal government needs to pick up the tag and put some restrictions on entry.
  • Akaka Bill: What is your position on the Akaka Bill? Do you believe it will unite or divide Hawaii? What is your vision for how the Akaka Bill will change Hawaii? I have no position.
  • Jones Act: Opponents of the federal Jones Act say it increases the cost of living in Hawaii through a shipping duopoly while supporters say it is needed to ensure port security and American jobs. While this is a federal decision, would you share your view on whether you support an exemption for Hawaii from the Jones Act or should it remain in place? The Jones act protects our maritime fleet.  Repeal it and in a few years we will not have a maritime fleet and when the next conflict comes we will be in bad shape.
  • Endorsements you would like to list: Not really.  They are diversified and numerous.

Contact information:

Phone: 808  985-8901



Mail: PO 313,  Volcano Hi 96785

Web site address: None