Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 8 General Election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions about where they stand on various issues and what their priorities will be if elected.

The following came from Nicholas Tancheff, Republican candidate for state Senate District 4, which includes Kalaoa, Waikoloa, Puako, Waimea, Kawaihae, Hawi, Kapaau, Honokaa, Paauilo, Laupahoephoe, Papaaloa, Hakalau and Honomu. His opponent is Democrat Tim Richards.

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

Candidate for State Senate District 4

Nicholas Tancheff
Party Republican
Age 47
Occupation Island Holistic Healing owner, doctor of chiropractic 
Residence Waikoloa, Hawaii Island


Community organizations/prior offices held

None provided.

1. What is the biggest issue facing your district, and what would you do about it?

A focus on fear vs. a focused future determined to fulfill our passions.

Children growing up with too much screen time is keeping children from developing their true passions. In-person learning and healthy social activities for our children need to be a focused emphasis moving forward. An emphasis toward organized sports activities, organized music and the arts. Well-rounded individuals that learn many activities toward recognizing what they become passionate about.

We also need to make growing food, gardens, food preparation, home chores and discipline a part of every human being’s upbringing. Keeping our children focused on the above will reduce their screen time. The social media companies want to steal our children from us and we need to stand up against this.

The adults suffer with lack of knowledge of how to properly care for their bodies, resulting in a dependency upon a fear-based medical system. Adults in our communities need the knowledge and confidence to recognize they can take control over their personal health.

2. Many people have talked about diversifying the local economy for many years now, and yet Hawaii is still heavily reliant on tourism. What, if anything, should be done differently about tourism and the economy?

The best economy is the sustainable garden system that the creator created. However, we must acknowledge the current necessity of the money system that we live in.

There are two groups of people here: those that depend upon the local economy to survive here and those that do not. I am in the group that depends upon the local economy to survive here and that is the group that I can relate to the most.

And I believe that we should all recognize that we can be grateful for the tourism that contributes to our local economy. I believe we all have the opportunity to prosper more as a result of the tourism.

I do believe we need to do a better job of banning all harmful chemicals brought in by tourism that damage our oceans, waters and environment. On the other hand, being grateful for the tourism economy that can contribute to our financial economy and never adding travel restrictions or shutting down our businesses.

We need to limit government regulations on our economy and allow our economy to be always open and make it easier for people to enter the business economy.

3. An estimated 60% of Hawaii residents are struggling to get by, a problem that reaches far beyond low income and into the middle class, which is disappearing. What ideas do you have to help the middle class and working families who are finding it hard to continue to live here?

Reducing the overall tax burden and allowing residents and families to keep a larger portion of their earnings that they work so hard for. If the government takes less of their earnings, they will be able to prosper more and provide their children with the opportunities they deserve.

This is a paradise for families and children to grow up here. We also need to make sure that the children have in-person learning in schools and organized sports and activities that are healthy for the children and give working families more time to focus on earning a living. When children are not in school, the parents struggle to be able to earn a living.

4. Hawaii has the most lopsided Legislature in the country, with only one Republican in the Senate and only four in the House. How would you ensure there is an open exchange of ideas, transparency and accountability for decisions? What do you see as the consequences of one-party control, and how would you address that?

Transparency begins with election transparency. Beyond election transparency, I will vote for what is in the best interests of the people I serve. I will openly share with the members of my district the decisions that have been made and if there is lack of transparency and accountability occurring, I will share that openly to not only my own district but to all who would like to listen.

Personally, I am not in favor of a party system. I am in favor of a people’s system. In the people’s system people are able to vote for the person that they want to serve them. In the people’s system, one will not need to run as a party member. People will run as people and voters will vote for the person that they want.

In the current party system, the focus must be on election integrity. Making sure one legal vote per legal voter. All voting needs to be done in small voting precincts in person with legal photo ID required on election day only.

5. Hawaii is the only Western state without a statewide citizens initiative process. Do you support such a process? 

100% yes! We need to reduce power from the legislators and give the power back to the people.

6. Thanks to their campaign war chests and name familiarity, incumbents are almost always re-elected in Hawaii legislative races. Should there be term limits for state legislators, as there are for the governor’s office and county councils? Why or why not?

I cannot give you a definitive answer today. The reason being that we would want term limits on legislators that are not acting in the best interests of the people and we would want to keep legislators that are there for the right reasons for the people. That being said, I do believe that longer term limits can cause even the best people to become complacent.

My final decision would be in favor of what the people want. I do believe that these positions should be held by people that recognize they are here to serve. I also believe that these positions should only be held by people that understand the struggle to earn a living in the private sector. Those that do not understand the realities of the average person from experience should not run for these positions to serve.

7. Hawaii has recently experienced a number of prominent corruption scandals, prompting the state House of Representatives to appoint a commission tasked with improving government transparency through ethics and lobbying reforms. What will you do to ensure accountability at the Legislature? Are you open to ideas such as requiring the Sunshine Law and open records laws to apply to the Legislature or banning campaign contributions during session?

All voting that occurs by all voting members must be open to the people. I would be for the Sunshine Law and open records laws.

I am against campaign contributions during session. I believe campaign contributions should be limited to individuals in small dollar amounts.

8. How would you make the Legislature more transparent and accessible to the public? Opening conference committees to the public? Stricter disclosure requirements on lobbying and lobbyists? How could the Legislature change its own internal rules to be more open?

I would propose creating a website that is updated with exactly what has occurred in the Legislature regularly. An elected party member from each party will review the information to ensure accuracy prior to posting. All new updates posted immediately following the occurrence and allowing the public to address their thoughts.

I am for opening conference committees to the public. I am against lobbying. Making sure the public is aware of the website that tracks all of the Legislature updates happening so that they can follow along and be involved along the way.

9. Hawaii has seen a growing division when it comes to politics, development, health mandates and other issues. What would you do to bridge those gaps and bring people together in spite of their differences?

Bringing people together means bringing people together physically. I would educate people to help them to recognize that “social distancing” is not healthy. In fact, it is extremely unhealthy for our community. We need to help people to recognize that in-person human interaction is necessary for our mental health and development.

I would also focus on all of the subjects that we can agree on. When people come into my office, I often ask them the following questions and in my experience people agree:

— Do you prefer the government take more of your money or less of your money?

— Do you prefer a safer neighborhood or a less safe neighborhood?

— Do you prefer mandates or the freedom to choose?

— Do you prefer schools open or closed?

— Do you prefer parks and beaches open or closed?

– Do you prefer affordable organic foods that are good for you and your family or unhealthy foods that lead to fatigue and illness?

We need to focus on the things that matter the most and move together as a community to achieve what we all want.

10. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed numerous flaws in Hawaii’s structure and systems, from outdated technology to economic disparity. If you could take this moment to reinvent Hawaii, to build on what we’ve learned and create a better state, a better way of doing things, what would you do? Please share One Big Idea you have for Hawaii. Be innovative, but be specific.

At the moment, recognizing that we live in a money system with the goal to re-create the garden system that the original creator created. Recognizing that the money system is so deeply infiltrated into our existing world, continuing to take advantage of the fact that we should promote a healthy tourist economy, while at the same time expanding our gardens so that we will be less dependent upon all other economies. Financially incentivizing the growing of vegetable gardens and planting and caring for fruit trees at schools, churches, parks, homeowners’ associations and family homes and integrating sustainable agriculture as part of the children’s education program.

Even bigger:

— World-class athletic training facilities for the greatest athletes to train to be the world’s best while nourishing themselves with our locally produced foods.

— In-patient residential health care facilities that provide the highest quality care, integrating comprehensive medical diagnostic information with treatments tailored toward detoxification and regenerative therapies with a locally sourced organic feeding plan individually tailored to meet the needs of the patient.

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