Full Name: Richard Eugene Abbett
Name on Ballot: Richard Abbett
Political Party: Democrat
Running For: House
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: Self-employed consultant
Place of birth: Indianapolis, Indiana
Campaign website: Richard Abbett on Facebook
Job history past 10 years:
Legislative advocate, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups
Regional director, AFL/CIO Union Sportsmen Alliance
Advocate, S’Klallum General Council
Corporate executive, Washington Council of Trout Unlimited
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Hawaii County Council, 2014, defeated
Thurston County (WA) Auditor, 2010, defeated
Other civic experience or community service?
Board of directors, treasurer, Hawaii Farmers Union United, Kau Chapter
Volunteer, Ocean View Community Center
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
Father of three children, two grandchildren. Lifelong community activist, organizer, and environmental advocate. Our future in Hawaii requires new solutions and honesty, integrity and transparency. The strength of our people lies in it’s diversity, and our commitment to our public trust responsibilities, natural resources, land, sea and water.
What makes you qualified to be a state representative?
I have worked in the private sector, county and state government, and represented interests in negotiations and conflict resolution with treaty tribes, federal and foreign governments. I have worked for over 30 years in the legislative arena in natural resource conservation management.
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?
Yes, but at a lower level. The remaining support for road improvements should be required to come from an increase in the return of the Transient Accommodations Tax to the Counties to provide for county improvements and local emergency services.
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?
No, The rail commission board and contractors, and city council need to be held accountable for past decisions and overlooking cost overruns that should have been revealed to their legislative partners and the Governor’s Office.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
The state and counties need to work together to enforce adequately the existing rules and laws forcefully and provide a report to the Legislature on further need for legislation if required.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Yes, body cameras should be required and funded. We have a crisis state and nationwide based on police abuse and the lack of trust has to be addressed.
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, greater public disclosure and a citizen review board are required to be able to restore the integrity of the institutions and the public trust.