My Story


    Aloha! My name is David Tarnas, Hawai'i State House Representative for District 7 (North Kona, South Kohala and North Kohala).

     I have lived in District 7 for over thirty years. 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. Now I continue my service as State Representative and serve on three House Committees: Energy and Environmental Protection; Water, Land, and Hawaiian Affairs; Lower and Higher Education.

     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. I currently serve 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.. 
     Now that both children have finished high school here and have gone away to study at college, it is a good time for me to be back in the legislature. I am grateful for the opportunity to be your State Representative and continue to 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.

Please support the Tarnas 2020 campaign. Mahalo!