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

The following came from Charles Djou, a Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives District 1. Republican Allan Levene is also running. There are also seven Democrats and two nonpartisan candidates.

The district is essentially urban Honolulu, but it stretches from Hawaii Kai in East Honolulu to Waipahu in west Oahu and Mililani in central Oahu. The district includes Pearl City, Waimalu, Aiea and the downtown area.Go to Civil Beat’s Elections Guide for general information, and check out other candidates on the Primary Election Ballot.

Name: Charles K. Djou

Office: U.S. House of Representatives, 1st District

Party: Republican

Profession: Attorney

Education: University of Southern California, J.D. Univ. of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, B.S. and B.A.

Age: 44

Community organizations: American Legion; American Lung Association, past

Charles K. Djou

Charles K. Djou

1. Why are you running for the U.S. House of Representatives?

After nearly 60 years of one-party rule, Hawai’i residents are facing an ever increasing cost of living, our young people are forced to move away to find jobs, and our kupuna are worried about living on a fixed income. But, we have a government that isn’t listening. We need to elect leaders who have the courage to fight for our future.

And, unlike any of my opponents, I can start delivering for our community starting on day one. If elected, I will have seniority from my prior service in Congress, and will be part of the majority caucus as the GOP is expected to retain control of the U.S. House, and looks likely to capture most delegations in the country. We need to elect someone who can hit the ground running.

We need leaders who will fight for our country, our children and our future – to create jobs, and make sure people can afford to live in our beautiful state.

2. Do you believe climate change is real? If so, what can the United States do to control carbon emissions?

Yes. The U.S. should explore all energy options to both reduce our country’s reliance on foreign fossil fuel sources and reduce global carbon emissions. As a City Council member, I successfully fought to bring curbside recycling to O‘ahu and advocated for reducing Honolulu’s energy use. I also authored legislation that allowed placement of renewable energy systems in agriculture zoned property, provided for an annual energy audit for the City and County of Honolulu, and exempted PV systems from building permitting fees.

3. Where do you draw the line between the government’s national security needs and the privacy of its citizens?

I prioritize both protecting America’s security and individual civil liberties. Where there is a conflict between these two worthy goals, I believe the policy should be to defer in favor of civil liberty wherever reasonable.

4. Under what circumstances should America go to war?

As a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, I understand the human cost and tragedy of war. The United States should use force to protect our national security and our country’s citizens from attack.

5. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — how should the government continue to support these entitlements? Are reforms necessary?

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are worthy programs deserving of support. The challenge facing our country isn’t the support for these programs, but preserving them for the next generation. Like all other government programs, these should be subject to review and improvement.

6. Congress has struggled in recent years to reach agreement on budget deficits, the national debt and spending in general. What would be your approach to fiscal matters?

Our country’s looming national debt is America’s most significant long-term problem. I support a balanced budget amendment as the foundation for addressing our nation’s budget deficit and staggering national debt.

7. It has been difficult to bridge the partisan divide in Washington lately. How would you make a difference?

Congress needs more centrists. I was named by the National Journal as one of just 10 centrists during my term in Congress. The hyper-partisanship and extreme positions taken by both political parties is poisoning American government.

8. What is your policy on immigration?

I am the child of immigrant parents. My father came to the U.S. from China and my mother came to our country from Bangkok, Thailand. I support sensible legal immigration reform. As a congressman, I voted in favor of the DREAM Act. I support increased legal immigration opportunities, such as an increase in H-1B work visas, and simplifying the process of obtaining tourist visas.

9. What is your view of the role of the U.S. military in the islands?

As a veteran and Army Reserve soldier, I understand the critical importance of the military in Hawaii.  Defense is the second largest sector of Hawaii’s economy after tourism. During my time on the House Armed Services Committee, I was a strong advocate for maintaining a robust military presence in Hawaii.

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

President Obama outlined a bold vision to expand trade and commerce in the Asia-Pacific region with the Trans-Pacific Partnership in his State of the Union address this year. This is the key economic component of the administration’s “pivot to the Pacific.” Hawaii will be the primary beneficiary of this policy and I strongly support granting President Obama authority to conclude this critical trade pact.

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