comscore District 01 - Kaialiʻi Kahele (D)

District 01 – Kaialiʻi Kahele (D)

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Full name: Kaialiʻi Kahele

Name on Ballot: Kaialiʻi Kahele

Age: 42

Political Party: Democrat

Running For: State Senate

District: 1

Email address:

Current job: State senator

Place of Birth: Honolulu

Campaign website:

Job history past 10 years:

Hawaiian Airlines commercial pilot

Hawaii Air National Guard pilot

Ever run for public office? No

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

Hawaiian Airlines Aviators for Education

Keynote speaker at various STEM events (Lacy Veach Day, Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day, Pacific Astronomy & Engineering Summit)

Former University of Hawaii Mens Volleyball player (1994-1997)

Married to Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant Maria Day & we have three daughters. Our daughter is a student at the Hawaiian immersion Pūnana Leo, Hiʻipēpē infant program. I am a strong supporter of the Hawaiian language through Hawaiian medium education.

What makes you qualified to be a state representative?

Sixteen years serving our country in the United States Air Force, with the majority of that time being a nation at war has given me unique experiences, opportunities and challenges many will never experience in their lifetimes. My strongest character trait is the ability to be an effective leader.

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?

It would depend on the governorʻs proposal, the amount he is asking for and what is DOTʻs plan to do with the additional revenue. Highway 130 on Hawaii island is the deadliest highway in the state. I would like to see that project fulfilled to completion.

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 supported rail going to UH Manoa. I am not pleased with the current project and its out of control costs. At this point, the rail needs to go to Ala Moana & HART needs to figure out how to make that happen within its current fiscal constraints.

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

No. That should be a function of the counties. It is possible the state can assist, but the counties are more suited to identify and prosecute illegal rentals on their respective islands.

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

No. The individual counties, as evidenced on Kauai, are successfully implementing body cameras. SHOPO and the counties are best equipped to make decisions that affect their officers and address issues like privacy, storage and access.

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?

No. Every citizen in our state is entitled due process and is innocent until proven guilty, our police officers are no different. Currently, each year an annual report is submitted to the Legislature by the departments that identity how many officers were disciplined and why. The report is public record.

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