Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Aug. 9 primary, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.

The following came from Christopher Stump, a Democratic candidate for state representative for District 17. Republican Gene Ward is also running.

District 17 includes Hawaii Kai and Kalama Valley.

Go to Civil Beat’s Elections Guide for general information, and check out other candidates on the Primary Election Ballot.

Name: Christopher Stump

Office: State House, District 17

Party: Democrat

Profession: Consultant

Education: BA Political Science

Age: 29


Christopher Stump

Christopher Stump

Bryan Choe


1. Why are you running for the Hawaii Legislature?

For eight years, I worked on the front lines for National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) to protect our ocean resources. Looking forward I want to help ensure a healthy future for our state by protecting the future of the next generation. As a parent and resident of Hawaii Kai, I want to make sure the families of Hawaii Kai are fairly represented and have a strong voice in the state legislature.

2. Are you satisfied with the current plans to pay for the state’s unfunded liability? If not, how would you propose we meet pension and health obligations for public workers?

Money set aside for these programs, like many others, should not be used for other things. Workers pay into them throughout their career and plan their retirement based off of it. It is our duty to keep the promise of security for these funds.

3. Local officials and advocates have worked to address homelessness for years, yet the crisis is growing. What proposals do you have for this complicated issue?

Increase the availability of affordable housing and increase funding to shelter and treatment programs.

4. Where do you stand on labeling genetically engineered food and pesticide regulation? Are these public safety issues, or are the dangers exaggerated?

I believe that people have a right to know what they are eating.

5. Hawaii’s cost of living is the highest in the country by many indicators. What can really be done to make things like housing, food and transportation less expensive?

Incentivizing local industries such as agricultural and helping the state be more self sufficient in its use of energy and other commodities.

6. Would you support using liquified natural gas as part of the state’s energy sources? And how can we improve the electrical distribution system so more renewable energy can be utilized to bring costs down?

Liquified natural gas, although it sounds promising, is a short-term view on a long-term problem. Instead of spending the money on this, we need to expand and invest in renewable sources and technology. The grid itself needs to be upgraded, by doing this we help make power delivery more cost effective and we are able to monitor usage in different Ares. This will help facilitate the understanding of what renewable energy  being fed into the grid can be used or routed to.

7. Hawaii’s public records law mandates that public records be made available whenever possible. Yet many citizens are unable to afford the costs that states and local government agencies impose. Would you support eliminating search and redaction charges and making records free to the public for basic copying costs?


8. Are you satisfied with the way Hawaii’s public school system is run? How can it be run better?

There needs to be better communication between the different levels of bureaucracy within the school system. With the district being so large it is easy for children to fall through the cracks. We need someone who puts education first and makes sure the different levels from the teacher all the way to the Legislature have open lines of communication about progress as well as problems.

9. There is a desire to grow the economy through new developments yet also a need to protect our limited environmental resources. How would you balance these competing interests?

Development should not occur just for development’s sake. We need to think of community needs first and how to address them and then develop to address these needs. Developers should work hand in hand with members of the community, this ensures that problems are being addressed before construction takes place.

10. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?

There needs to be greater emphasis placed on helping our children excel all the way through college. We need to improve our university system through reinvestment and responsible spending. A strong university will give our leaders of tomorrow the tools to succeed while promoting a diverse economy in our great state.