Gary Hooser presently serves on the Kauai County Council and is Chair Of The Public Safety Committee. 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. Hooser also served as 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.
In 2014 Hooser co-authored Kauai's Bill 2491 which proposed to increase regulation of agrochemical company operations on Kauai and related activities surrounding the intensive pesticide use affiliated with the growing of experimental genetically engineered crops. This measure was passed into law as ordinance 960 was quickly taken to court, stopped by industry and is now on appeal. Hooser has been an active leader statewide on these issues and has spoken in international forums on the topic.
During his time in public office, Hooser has provided strong leadership on a wide range of issues including renewable energy, social justice, environmental protection, shoreline access, affordable housing, and agriculture. He is 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 Hawaii Senate in support of civil union legislation, played a leadership role in successfully repealing the Public Land Development Corporation 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 is also the president and founder of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) a 501c3 nonprofit educational advocacy organization.
Hooser graduated from Radford High School (Class of 1972), Kaua'i Community College and the University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu.
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 grand-dog (Hina), 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