Full Name: Russell E. Ruderman
Name on Ballot: Russell E. Ruderman
Political Party: Democrat
Running For: Hawaii State Senate
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: State senator, grocer
Place of birth: Heidelberg, Germany
Campaign website: www.russellruderman.com
Job history past 10 years:
Owner, Island Naturals Markets.
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
1992 and 2006 – County Council – lost
2012 State Senate – won.
Other civic experience or community service?
County Commissions: Solid Waste Advisory Commission; Agriculture Committee, Environmental Management Committee,
UHH Performing Arts Center Advisory Committee
Waawaa Community Association president ( 3x)
Big Island Rainforest Action Group spokesman
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
2015 SBA State of Hawaii Businessperson of the Year.
Created over 200 jobs on Big Island
Sailed to Hawaii on 25’ wooden sailboat with no motor and celestial navigation.
Play guitar in two musical bands – rock band & Latin band.
What makes you qualified to be a state senator?
The same qualities that have enabled my success in business help me with political work: the ability to work collaboratively with a wide variety of people and form partnerships. I have been very successful in my first term as senator.
Gov. Ige says he will once again propose increases to the state gas tax, vehicle weight tax and state registration fees to help pay for state road projects. Do you support his proposal?
I have concerns about increasing any taxes that disproportionately affect the poorest among us. Thus I opposed this bill last year. I realize the state Department of Transportation needs funding and will consider the bill on its merits next year. It is my preference that we fund DOT from more general funds.
If the Legislature is again asked to extend Oahu’s half-percent excise tax surcharge to finance construction or operation of the rail system, would you support such an extension?
I will support it if my Oahu colleagues support it. As a Big Islander, this is not my fight. So I will support this if Oahu senators mostly support it, since it affects their constituency.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
Yes. Illegal vacation rentals drive up the cost of housing for our residents, exacerbating poverty and homelessness.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Yes. Nationwide this has been a useful tool in police/community relations. We need this improved police accountability just as do other areas in the nation.
Dozens of police officers in Hawaii are disciplined each year for committing crimes or violating departmental policies, but little information is released about the officers or their cases. Do you think there needs to be greater public disclosure?
Yes. More disclosure will result in more trust by the community, and better disciplinary actions when needed.