There are no perfect candidates

While there are good people and good candidates, none are without flaws and all have strengths and weaknesses.

So how does one choose from a list of imperfect individuals? What criteria is best for judging who is best suited to serve in public office?

There are over 20 candidates running for election to the Kauai County Council. I am clear there are 7 among this group who have the potential to serve us well.

But how to choose?

Personally, I start with a process of elimination.

First I eliminate the jerks, the bigots, the misogynists, the bullies, and the ignorant, pompous know-it-all’s.

Next, I eliminate those candidates who IMHO have clear conflicts of interest via their employer or other business affiliations. My preference is that the candidate if elected will serve only one master, and that would be the people.

Then, assuming there are still options left on the prospective candidate list, I eliminate the ungrounded, unstable, and those without roots in the community.

I realize the above process of elimination may seem harsh, and is a personal and subjective evaluation.

But hey, it’s my vote to do with as I like in the privacy of the voting booth.

Once the negative process of elimination is out of the way, I rank the remaining candidates based on trust, core values, competence, life experience and strength of character. Again this is a personal score card, based mostly on instinct and general observations of the candidates actions and history in the community.

I am seeking candidates whom I know with certainty will not abuse the public trust. And who share my general world view of putting people and the environment ahead of the profits of business. Competence, life experience, and specific skill sets are of course also important.

I look for balance. Diversity is important. Historically women have been underrepresented and sometimes geographical and other demographic representation is lacking.

My practice when voting for the County Council, is to only vote for those individuals I truly want to see elected, even if this means voting for only a handful of candidates and not using my full allotment of 7 votes.

Our community is fortunate to have a large and diverse field of candidates running for the County Council this year. I encourage all to get to know them, scrutinize their records, attend the forums. Then vote wisely on August 11 or register for an absentee ballot and submit before Aug. 11.


Gary Hooser formerly served in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kauai County Council and was former director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. He serves presently in a volunteer capacity as board president of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) and is executive director of the Pono Hawaii Initiative.

  1. kauaiboy June 6, 2018 7:14 am Reply

    Using Mr. Hooser’s formula for choosing candidates, here are my choices:

    Mayor’s Race: Joann Yukimura, with Derek Kawakami coming second.

    County Council Race: Mason Chock, Felicia Cowden, Luke Evslin, Adam Roversi, Norma Doctor Sparks.

    There are a number of newcomers to whom I will be paying attention to see what that may have to offer.

    There is some dead wood and some pompous individuals and some in the pockets of big money corporate interests who are easy to weed out.

    1. Just Saying June 6, 2018 1:45 pm Reply

      So it looks like kauaiboy is out for those who, during the recent unpleasantness, favored the multibillion dollar European Organic Food Conglomerates that fund Greenpeace and their atrocious propaganda campaigns to the tune of $270 million per year!

  2. gordon oswald June 6, 2018 7:17 am Reply

    Gary Hoo?

  3. manawai June 6, 2018 7:23 am Reply

    “First I eliminate the jerks, the bigots, the misogynists, the bullies, and the ignorant, pompous know-it-all’s.”

    Guess you’re out then, Gary. Frankly, I’d prefer Debra Kekaualua over you.

  4. notinsane June 6, 2018 7:59 am Reply

    Hmmm….sounds like voters were using your “process of elimination” when they voted YOU off the counsel in the previous election, Mr Hooser! Didn’t realize they would take your advice, eh?

  5. joan Conrow June 6, 2018 1:31 pm Reply

    Why in the world would anyone take voting guidance from a man who, to use his own words, is “ungrounded, unstable” and an “ignorant, pompous know-it-all?”

    Let’s not forget Hooser lost his Council race despite spending more money than any candidate in the history of Kauai. He’s clearly out of touch with the electorate.

  6. Joe Public June 7, 2018 1:28 pm Reply

    GI must be desperate to fill space on their paper, Gary is the last person I would listen too for guidance for my votes. I have never voted for him, and never will, at least he described himself perfectly in this article.

    GI should create a humor section and place all of Gary’s articles in that section if GI insists on giving him employment..

  7. Reverend Malama Robinson June 8, 2018 5:51 am Reply

    Nobody is perfect, so vote for nobody….

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.