Gary Hooser presently serves on the Kauai County Council and is Chair of the Economic Development (sustainability, food, agriculture and energy) and Intergovernmental Relations. He is also Vice Chair of the Housing and Transportation Committee. Gary Hooser was formerly the Director of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) for the State of Hawaii. He was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie and confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate in early 2011 and served until mid-2012 when he left the position to run for election to the Kauai County Council.
Council member Hooser ran unsuccessfully for the office of Lieutenant Governor in the 2010 Democratic primary election. He served in the Hawaii State Senate representing the islands of Kaua'i and Ni'ihau from 2002 – 2010 and held the position of Majority Leader in the Senate from 2006 – 2010. Before being elected to the Senate, he served as a member of the Kaua'i County Council for 4 years.
During his time in public office, Hooser provided strong leadership on a wide range of issues including renewable energy, social justice, environmental protection, shoreline access, affordable housing, and agriculture. As a State Senator and while serving as a Councilmember, Hooser was known for his willingness to be "out in front" on issues. He introduced a "first in the nation law" making Hawaii the nation's first State requiring solar hot water heating systems (or equivalent) for all newly constructed homes. He also led the early legislative battle in the Senate in support of civil union legislation and is widely acknowledged for his leadership and hard work on progressive policy initiatives covering a broad spectrum.
Prior to being elected to public office, Hooser owned and operated with partners a small publishing enterprise - producing visitor, real estate and local business publications. He also holds an inactive real estate brokers license and formally owned and operated a real estate company involved in residential sales and development.
Hooser graduated from Radford High School (Class of 1972), Kaua'i Community College and the University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu. He is presently a part-time student in the U.H. William S. Richardson School of Law.
Council member Hooser lives in Wailua Homesteads on Kauai. He and his wife Claudette have two grown children Kelli-Rose and Dylan Hooser, a dog (Roxie), a cat (Socks) and a chicken (Ruby). Dylan Hooser owns and operates Sunrise Shells of Kauai and Kelli-Rose is the committee clerk for the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection.
For a better understanding of Gary Hooser's background and experience, watch "The Hooser Story" online video:
6-minute edited version
30-minute complete version