Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Saturday, June 22, 2024 77° Today's Paper


2022 Election: Gary Cordery

Gary Cordery
Swipe or click to see more
Name on ballot:

Gary Cordery

Running for:


Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:

Owner/ RME, Kingdom Builders in Hawaii



Previous job history:

Business Owner

Previous elected office, if any:

No answer submitted

Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

I have demonstrated a lifetime of leadership through a vibrant marriage of 41 years and the fathering of two amazing daughters married to two outstanding men, who are the parents of our seven grandchildren. In life, there is no greater measuring of character and leadership than a family legacy that leads their community in service and integrity. I have served in many roles over the years in church leadership, youth work, prison work, various boards and serving my fellow citizens. I have been self-employed nearly all my adult life. Prior to moving to Hawaiʻi in 1981, I completed numerous federal construction contracts nationally and then continued this work in Hawaiʻi. In 1995, I founded Kingdom Builders, a construction company. It has been very successful, providing for many families’ livelihoods. Over the years, we have built schools, churches, homes, and businesses, continuing to this day. In owning and operating this type of business, I have mastered the skills of budgeting, negotiating contracts, and working with the insurance and law industries. In addition, I develop strategic plans, identify problems, establish long-range planning, forecast revenue, cost-estimate, and sign the checks on both sides. At the end of a project, I account for all decisions with our client and community.
These are the skills of a leader who understands complicated tasks, opposing viewpoints, policy stakeholders and the desire and will of all the people I serve; these are the skills of a leader who will govern with integrity and account for actions of my administration.

What will be your top priority if elected?

I believe the number one issue facing Hawaiʻi that must be addressed is the systemic corruption we endure as citizens: the ability to enact change, account for spending, amend failed policies, hold people and agencies to their commitments and establish equal justice under the law. We will aggressively pursue transparency, address wasteful spending, unnecessary regulation and nepotism in government.

Rising inflation has significantly worsened Hawaii’s already high cost of living. What can be done at the state level to help Hawaii residents cope with high consumer prices?

Much of the high cost of living in Hawai’i is rooted in bad government and undisciplined fiscal policies. Therefore, the method to lower the cost of living is to change these policies and policy makers.
This will be through illumination and accountability of how revenue is being allocated and spent. There will be accountability in all agencies for their leadership and policies. If there is redundancy, it must be eliminated. Agencies must remove unnecessary regulations that restrain business, business owners and development. We must review all tax policies at the state and department levels, remove GET on food and medicine, and renegotiate the Jones Act. We will reduce government spending, shrink the size of government and lessen the state’s burden on all.

Hawaii’s rising gasoline prices are among the highest in the nation. Should Hawaii lower or temporarily suspend state taxes on gasoline to help ease the pain at the pump?

Yes, but it must not raise revenue elsewhere in order to offset the tax holiday. The 19 cent gas tax should be temporarily suspended, but it should not trigger additional taxes to make up for this loss of that revenue.

What is your plan to help protect Hawaii residents’ health during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic?

Hawaii’s medical industry must offer therapeutics to the state’s health plans. The state, DOH and medical facilities must make public all data and verifiable COVID-19 information, including COVID-19 payments from federal sources. The censoring of medical professionals must be stopped under law, and the citizens shall have their HIPAA law and privacy rights upheld and not be mandated to receive a vaccine they oppose.

Do you support or oppose efforts to slow or limit the number of tourists to Hawaii? Please explain.

I believe we have seen levels of tourism that the state resources cannot sustain. We should not continue to promote Hawaiʻi’s tourism beyond our ability to support this level.

How can Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy be diversified, and what can state government do to support the effort?

Hawaʻii can restore a robust agriculture industry through DLNR and DOH land and regulation policies. Farmers must be provided the opportunity to own their lands, creating certainty and the ability to finance operations. Additionally, we should initiate a goods-and-services ferry exempt from the Jones Act for transporting products between the island chain. We must enhance the marketplace for agriculture industries such as dairy, produce, poultry and beef and loosen regulations for processing and delivering these products to market.

What is your plan to increase affordable housing in Hawaii, and to help the counties deal with homelessness?

Much of the issues we face in affordable housing are rooted in supply and demand. The state must make available more state land for private development, change DLNR Ag.1 zoning, and pursue amending Hawaiian Homelands requirements and lease designation. The state must also negotiate with the military provisions for housing their service personnel on base.

In responding to the homelessness crisis, the issue is the state does not treat the homeless as people, rather as a problem. I believe those on the street must be treated with respect and have honest assessments made individually to determine how best to help them off the street. Then, the appropriate targeted funding should be in place to complete the task. There are numerous non-profits, particularly churches, that want to serve the homeless needs and are constrained by government policy. People should be allowed to serve their fellow man with support, not opposition from the government. Finally, one cannot ignore the more aggressive approach from those on the street panhandling citizens- people are authentically afraid and to ignore reality does not help resolve any issue. This reveals the need for urgent policy change that actually addresses the struggle to survive in Hawaiʻi. The lack of respect for others is part of a breakdown across our communities. This is not a homeless issue, it is a society issue.

Hawaii isn’t likely to see a repeat of this year’s $2 billion revenue surplus which allowed higher-than-normal spending on state programs and projects. If elected, what will your top spending priorities be?

The state must stop creating methods to spend revenue- these funds belong to the taxpayer. Taxes should be reduced, and property taxes on our Kupuna should be frozen at the age of their retirement. The state should pay down its debt.

What, if anything, should state government do in response to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade?

The court has now ruled and has overturned Roe v Wade. The decision to leave abortion policies to the will of the people is the proper application of the Constitution. If the people want change, they will do so with their vote at the state level.

What should state government do to support and improve public education in Hawaii?

I will work to put the P back into PTA (Parent-Teacher Association)- a constitutional amendment would be required. The state should implement and fund charter schools, provide vouchers and require proficiency testing before a student moves into the next grade. The state should also decentralize its administration, giving budgetary authority to local schools.

What reforms, if any, would you propose to make state government more transparent to the public?

Transparency is paramount and will stamp out corruption at its core. I would start with promoting and clearly articulating the need to have the Attorney General, Sheriff, Ethics Commission and Office of Elections be voted in by the people. No longer should these offices be subject to political policy makers. I will promote all agencies to be required to reveal all budgetary information to the public without public request or demand. I will require the Attorney General to aggressively pursue corruption and require prosecution to the full extent of the law.

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?

The completion of the TMT is not moving forward until the state and responsible stakeholders account for their broken promises to the people of Hawaiʻi. When reconciliation has occurred, then the future of this project shall be renegotiated through humility, honor and integrity.
Assuming an agreement can be achieved, then it could move forward.

Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?

Yes, thank you!
The people of Hawaiʻi should know I have the strength, passion and perseverance to lead with honor and humility. I will stand for the liberty of people and keep my promise. We will lead by utilizing wisdom and integrity wherever it is found. I am not a politician and have no desire to live a political life or glean from its systems, rather I desire to bring righteousness back as the core principle within the Executive Branch. Our State Motto, “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness,” should be a tangible reality for the people and with it, our people should live in the abundance of aloha, embracing each other in unity and hope.

View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2022 Hawaii elections coverage.
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines. Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.