By: J. S.
Bob McDermott is a Republican House Representative for District 40, Ewa Beach. Originally from Pennsylvania, Representative McDermott studied economics and graduated with an MBA from Chaminade University. He has served in the Hawaii legislature since 2013. His list of priorities in the community include upgrades to Ewa schools, including air conditioning, traffic safety and road repairs, cleaning of roadsides and parks, jobs for Ewa and West Oahu, and responsive, honest representation for community members. As one of Hawaii’s four Republican House Representatives, Rep. McDermott has stood for important issues including school repairs, local agriculture and fair firearm laws, among other local concerns.
The Representative shares details about his family life and career on his campaign website votemcdermott.com. His previous career was as a Marine Officer who served in Gulf War 1, and he is now an executive in Honolulu for a non-profit organization. So far he has served 4 terms in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Rep. McDermott has been married for 25 years and is the father of eight children. He describes himself as a devoted family man and active member of his church, serving the Ewa community in many ways.
School upgrades and DOE testing standards are strong focuses in the representative’s community efforts. In 2015 he shared his concerns regarding Campbell Highschool upgrade in a Youtube discussion. He also supported funding for a new highschool for Ewa Beach and Kapolei in 2016.
Representative McDermott is a member of several House Committees. As a member of the House Select Committee on Covid-19 he contributed to the report “Making Hawaii Safer For Travel – Recommendations to Reopen Hawaii’s Visitor Industry” in May of 2020. Rep. McDermott’s recommendations included testing travelers within 72 hours of their arrival. The report noted that at that time Great Britain and Taiwan, two other island populations, were engaging in similar protocols. Rep. McDermott stated he felt that the government of Hawaii owed it to their people to enforce Covid-19 testing for incoming visitors. The report’s framework stated that “while we cannot legally mandate testing nor infringe one’s right to travel, we can ensure travelers are aware of the consequences of not being tested prior to arrival.”
On the subject of the United States Supreme Court, McDermott has stood for defending against packing the court. He sponsored HR 93, a resolution on behalf of the Hawaii House of Representatives which urges the U.S. Congress to amend the Constitution to specify that nine justices shall serve on the Supreme Court. Changing the composition of the Supreme Court would compromise the integrity and independence of the court according to the House Resolution.
On gun control, McDermott has worked to ease the process for US Nationals to lawfully secure firearms. He sponsors House Bill 710 which authorizes county police chiefs to issue permits to acquire firearms to U.S. Nationals who otherwise meet all of the applicable criteria. In the past local police chiefs have turned down law abiding U.S. Nationals seeking gun permits.
On pornography and its ties to human trafficking, McDermott co-sponsored a House Concurrent Resolution to designate pornography as a public health crisis and take action accordingly. HCR 114 states many reasons porography is detrimental to young people and families, and also how it feeds into human trafficking. “Pornography equates violence toward women and children with sex and associates pain with pleasure, which increases demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse imagery, and child pornography.” McDermott writes in the resolution. HCR 114 currently sits with two house committees.
View all Hawaii Senate and House members at capitol.hawaii.gov. Rep. McDermott also shares Ewa community information and an opportunity to engage with him online at repmcdermott.com.