comscore District 08 - Kanoe Ahuna (D)

District 08 – Kanoe Ahuna (D)

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Full name: H. Kanoe Ahuna

Name on ballot: Kanoe Ahuna

Age: 43

Political Party: Democrat

Running for: Senate

District: 8, Kauai and Niihau

Email Address:

Current job: Nā Hōkū Welo

Place of birth: Kapaa

Campaign website:

Job history past 10 years:

Hoʻola Lahui Hawaii

Elite Element Academy

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


Other civic experience or community service?

Vice president, Parent Teacher Student Association, Kapaa Elementary

Hawaii Charter Schools Network board member

DOE Hawaii Charter Schools Superintendent Liaison Committee member

Hawaii State Department of Health/Adult Mental Health Division—Multicultural, Advisory Council member

State of Hawaii, volunteer guardian ad litem

Leadership Kauai graduate (2014)

Daughters of Hawaii, member/daughter

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

I am a mother of three boys (ages 7, 14, 16). My husband is Dan Ahuna. I played roller derby for the GIRRZ. I surfed around the world on the Professional Women’s Bodyboarding Tour. I’m Chinese, Hawaiian, Japanese, Polish. My mom was born and raised in Shizuoka, Japan.

What makes you qualified to be a state senator?

I have Ph.D. in education, more than 17 years of experience in the fields of health and education. I hold a Hawaii teachers license in elementary/special education. Through my years of professional and public service I’ve established the qualities to collaborate, build partnerships, connect people and the ability to resolve complex issues.

My commitment of years of public service in education, health care, nonprofits, and small businesses has lead me to the next level of service. I believe that the state Senate seat is now the best seat for me to bring state level resources to our islands. I have worked with politicians and government officials at the county and state level and will continue to build upon these relationships to better serve Kauai and Niihau.

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?

This is of great concern. The monthly visitor population in Hawaii of nearly 900,000 is comparable to the local resident population. Locals and visitors alike use our state roadways. Locals are challenged with cost of living in Hawaii and should not be burdened with any tax increases.

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?

As a Kauai resident and candidate I would look to my Oahu colleagues to make an informed decision due to the affects upon their constituents.

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

Illegal vacation rentals are a growing threat to securing housing and jobs for our local families.

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

Has been proven in other states to protect the rights of both officers and citizens due to increasing the accountability and transparency of behaviors. The necessity to record has been proven nationwide to minimize, prevent and de-escalate confrontational situations between officers and civilians.

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?

County police departments are publicly funded and therefore accountability and transparency should be a priority.

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