My Story


    Aloha! My name is David Tarnas, candidate for the State House of Representatives in District 7 (North Kona, South Kohala and North Kohala). Please vote for me in the Primary Election on August 11, 2018 so I can serve you again as State Representative. 

     This district has been my home for nearly thirty years, and it is where my wife and I have run our own business and raised our family. In my professional career, I have worked in both the public and private sectors. I was elected and served as State Representative for North Kona and South Kohala from 1994 to 1998, working in leadership positions including Vice-Chair of Education Committee and Chair of the Ocean Recreation and Marine Resources Committee. 

     Through the planning firm I started with my wife Carolyn Stewart, I have been responsible for managing development of private residential and commercial projects in environmentally sensitive areas, including planning, impact analysis, permitting, compliance monitoring, reporting, government and community relations.

     For decades, I have served as an environmental planner and meeting facilitator on projects to develop harbors, highways, farms, ranches, fishponds, and forest plantations, as well as scientific research facilities and renewable energy projects in Hawai'i. I am co-author of the Hawaii Ocean Resources Management Plan (1990); co-founding board member of the Malama Kai Foundation responsible for the statewide system of day-use mooring buoys in coral reefs; former UH Sea Grant Extension Agent for West Hawaii resolving conflict resulting from coastal development; and legislative sponsor of Act 306, which created the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area. Until recently, I served on the Hawaii County Agriculture Advisory Commission, and the Community Advisory Group for the U.S. Army Garrison - Hawaii Pohakuloa Training Area. 

     Throughout the State, I have worked as a strategic planner helping corporations, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and stakeholder partnerships prepare and implement strategic plans for development and operations. 

     In many communities on our island, I have worked as a community organizer building local capacity for a sustainable community, including work with numerous nonprofit community and environmental health organizations. I also served as Hawaii County Chairman for the Democratic Party of Hawaii from 2013-2015. For more information on my professional work, please go to my LinkedIn page

     My wife Carolyn and I started our family here and raised our son and daughter in Waimea. To support our kids, I have been active helping with the local AYSO Soccer Teams, Academy Swim Club, Waimea Community Theater, and Parker School theater and debate teams. I help with the Waimea Greenways and Trails project and the Waimea Community Association. I have also played flute for the Waimea Community Theater, Waimea Community Chorus Orchestra, St. James' Episcopal Church, and the Hulihe'e Palace Band. I regularly attend meetings of the Waimea Community Association, the Waikoloa Community Leadership Council, the South Kohala CDP Action Committee, South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, the North Kohala CDP Action Committee, and the North Kohala Community Access Group.

     Now that both children have finished high school here and have gone away to study at college, my family supports and encourages me to go back to the legislature so that I can work hard to protect our environment, build a sustainable economy, strengthen our education system, protect equal rights and opportunities for all community members, and to regain your trust in government through my strong ethics and diligent work.

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