Russell Ruderman
Russell Ruderman

Candidate Profile

Candidate: State Senator Russell E Ruderman
Facebook: Friends of Russell Ruderman
State Senate Dist 2 ( Puna and Ka’u)   Incumbent.
Campaign contact – myself.

1.     Why are you running for office?

I am running for office to complete projects I’ve started such as a Puna library and much-needed medical center, to promote local food, and to create a better more responsive government.

2.     What are your views about Hawaiian self-governance? In your capacity as a legislator, what action, if any, would you advocate in support of Hawaiian self- governance?

I support Hawaiian self-governance. As a non-Hawaiian, I am in a support role rather than a leadership role. I do not advocate my own positions in this arena, but I support those positions that Hawaiians in my community support. I support sovereignty in whatever form that may take as long as it has the support of most Native Hawaiians.
I particularly support, and have consistently voted for, projects that help Hawaiians in the realm of education, health care, and economic development. I have been extremely active in the geothermal issue which includes Hawaiian issues as well as others.

3.     When it comes to Native Hawaiian issues, what do you perceive your role as a legislator to be? What ways can you, if elected, support Native Hawaiian concerns through your legislative abilities? If elected, describe specific Native Hawaiian bill ideas that you would be willing to propose or support for the advancement of Native Hawaiians.

See above ( #2)

I have advocated for and voted for Taro land preservation, native fishing rights, Hawaiian Homelands funding, and more.

In my Puna community I work closely with the following, whom I consider friends:

  • Jerry & Gladys Konanui ( endsorsers)
  • Uncle Sam Keliihoomalu and Ohana ( “Uncle Robert’s Ohana”) ( endorsers)
  • Kaliko Kanaele ( endorser)
  • Emily Naeole ( endorser)

I was very involved in protecting Wao Kele O Puna, and was arrested in defense of it. I also was one of the lead organizers of Protect the Rainforest along with Pele Defense Fund, which remains the largest civil disobedience action in our state.

In other areas I am allies with Daniel Anthony, and Alika Atay, on food issues, Palikapu Dedman, Terry Napeahi, and others on geothermal issues.

Also close allies with Kealoha Prisciotta and help in her campaign, and I also support the campaign of Kanoe Ahuna on Kauai.

Living in Puna for over 30 years, I have had my share of experiences relating to Tutu Pele, including a profound spiritual experience while watching her fountains.
I arrived in Hilo in 1985 by sailing here on a small wooden boat with no motor, using only celestial navigation. So, I feel I earned my passage here. On my first night on the island, I witnessed a 1500’ lava fountain, which felt like a profound welcome.