comscore District 40 - Bob McDermott (R)

District 40 – Bob McDermott (R)

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Full name: Robert C. McDermott

Name on ballot: Bob McDermott

Age: 52

Political Party: Republican

Running for: House

District: 40

Email address:

Current job: Realtor, state representative

Place of birth: Lanesdale, Penn.

Campaign website:

Job history past 10 years:

Executive director of the Navy League from 2004-16; worked tirelessly to support our men and women in uniform along with our Veterans and Wounded Warriors. I left on my own accord to begin work as a Realtor. My experience honoring our men and women with the Navy League was an absolute blessing one I will never forget.

Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?

I have served in the state House from 1996-2002, and from 2012 to present; 10 years. Elected Kalihi-Palma Neighborhood Board 1992-96. Unsuccessful congressional run in 2002.

Other civic experience or community service?

I served briefly as a city commissioner in 2011. Currently a Navy League national director and a member of Knights of Columbus, the Lions Club and Waikiki Rotary Club.

Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?

I have been married for 30 years; my wife Utu and I have been blessed with eight children and four grandchildren. We are devout Catholics. I served as an enlisted Marine, then an officer in the first Gulf War. I hold a bachelor of arts and master’s in business administration from Chaminade.

What makes you qualified to be a state representative?

Through hard work, passion, unrelenting effort and drive, I have proven one man can make a difference as I got Pono Choices reformed/revised. I have championed the concern of Campbell High School’s parents and made the overcrowding and deliberate misfeasance by the Legislature a statewide public issue.

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?

No. Year after year the legislature has “swept” money from this cash cow to pay for other projects, again misfeasance. Now, they want more while we have a temporary dip in gas prices. Not fair and not right, particularly for our westside residents who must commute.

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?

Yes. The project must be finished. There is no reasonable alternative other than completion. The GET is partially borne by visitors, about one-third; as opposed to property taxes which hit local families and seniors on a fixed income particularly hard. Leverage transit oriented development rights for revenue to minimize costs.

Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?

This issue should be left to the counties who are better equipped to handle it through land use and zoning ordinances.

Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?

No. It is an unneeded expense. Use the money to hire more school crossing guards to enhance the safety of our elementary school children. We have no systemic problems here like on the mainland with racial issues.

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?

Policy infractions, no. Yes, if they break a law or are convicted of a crime. While there are occasional mistakes, we have an outstanding professional force in HPD. I see no need for public shaming. I am disgusted by those who constantly dump on these brave men and women.

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