Tegarden Campaign Event Makes It Official: She’s In The Race

March 3, 2016, 2:59 PM HST · Updated March 3, 2:59 PM
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Deidre Tegarden.

Deidre Tegarden.

State House of Representatives candidate Deidre Tegarden chose the Kihei Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall as the site of her official entry into the race on Monday, Feb. 29.

“It’s not by accident I chose this venue,” she said. “We have veterans here tonight and I thank you for your service. You have set the bar so high by your courage and commitment and I will fight for you as you have fought for all of us,” Tegarden said in an announcement.

Tegarden took the stage to address the crowd of more than 170 well-wishers and supporters. “I filed my papers today, so it’s official: I’m a candidate running for Hawaiʻi’s State House of Representatives, District 11, South Maui, Kīhei-Wailea-Mākena,” she said. “And I can’t wait to represent you.”

The event commenced with opening remarks from Sam Kaʻai, followed by the National Anthem and Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi sung by longtime Maui resident Ron Vaught and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Korean War veteran Fred Ruge.

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“South Maui residents have spoken to me, they have deep concerns about issues that are being overlooked and the direction our community is heading,” Tegarden said.

Emphasizing accessibility as the most important quality a public servant can have, she said, “I promise you a 48-hour return call policy when I’m your representative; you won’t be ignored… you’ll get a call back, even if it’s only to let you know that I don’t have the answer yet, but I’m working on it.”

Tegarden also promised that when she’s elected, she will have a representative in South Maui.

“For example, let’s say you have a question about the proposed Kīhei High School,” she said. “You’ll be able to come meet with someone and get the answer. I am absolutely committed to getting the rest of the funding for it so it gets built. I will follow through with that and with getting help for the other schools in South Maui, too—they all need attention and care.”

“You need someone who can make things happen,” Tegarden added. “Take for example, the state-operated Kīhei boat ramp that has been without a functioning bathroom for quite some time now… it’s way past time to get that bathroom fixed.”

She went on to address the challenges small businesses face with burdensome regulations, taxes and forms. “We must create a business-friendly atmosphere,” she said. “Our children shouldn’t have to leave the island to find jobs. We must do all we can to make sure businesses thrive here so our children will have jobs and a future right here at home.”

Regarding seniors, Tegarden stressed the importance of supporting nonprofits that help Maui’s seniors. “They do an incredible service in our community,” she said. “I have worked in the nonprofit field and I know how important they are.”

The primary election will take place on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016.

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