2018 Primary Election Candidates

Click to select a candidate
AMATO, Terez
Name on ballot:

AMATO, Terez

Running for:

State Senate

District (if applicable):

SD6 West and South Maui

Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:

Advocate for the People of Hawai'i



Previous job history:

Mother of 4, Bookkeeper, Candidate State Senate

Previous elected office, if any:


What qualifies you to represent the people of Hawaii?

I grew up here and I raised my four children here. I am proud to be the only truly progressive candidate in this Democratic race for state senate for South and West Maui and to have the trust and support of Hawaii’s doctors, dentists and teachers, the people we trust with our lives and our children’s lives. I care about you, your jobs and your family’s future.

I am working for the people not corporations and unlike my opponent I refuse all corporate donations: I am not for sale. I am in touch with my community. Previous service includes: Volunteer for Sierra Club (Member, Former Board Member, Former Treasurer), Kihei Community Association (Member), Maui Farmers Union (Member), Surfrider foundation (Volunteer), Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project (Volunteer), Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership (Volunteer), West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership (Volunteer), Candidate for State Senate.

What are the top three challenges facing the voters you seek to represent?

Top priorities are set by my community not by corporations. I will fight to protect seniors and fix Maui’s broken hospital system, work to expand overcrowded and dangerous roads, give long overdue support to our teachers and students and work to preserve our way of life and environment. Ultimately, my highest priority will be acting on the requests of my community, and I will never take money from corporations or lobbyists.

We have additional important issues to fix together: A housing and pay crisis, Supporting childcare for working families, Defending Medicare and workers unions, Unaffordable health insurance, Over-development and the resulting traffic increase, Poop water/injection wells contaminating our beaches. ALL classrooms need AC, Our teachers and nurses are underpaid, The only Maui hospital is understaffed at dangerous levels, we don’t even have a Neurosurgeon. West Maui still has no hospital! The Lahaina bypass needs to go further North to benefit all of Lahaina residents, Kihei has needed a high school for 20 plus years and yet all we have is a more broken promises and a blue sign which apparently cost $40 Million.

Lives are at stake: If we can afford an airport expansion and a 5000 car rental car garage that my opponent supported for industry, we can surely afford to have better medical care and schools first! Together we must remove corrupt politicians who are already in power. I am running for office to fight for our future. I have my priorities straight: People first.

For too long backroom deals with corporations that have hijacked our political system have dominated Hawai’i politics. Lobbyists pay politicians to protect their special interests, not the interests of the people. It's time for change: It’s time for real democracy not an unethical protection racket. We must choose new leaders who are working for the people, not corporations. On Aug. 11, the people of Hawaii want change. I will bring that change.

If elected, what will be your highest legislative priority?

It’s time to unite with our neighbors to create new leadership. Our families’ future depends on the choices we make right now: A few of many top priorities include protecting seniors and fixing Maui’s broken hospital system, expanding overcrowded and dangerous roads, giving our teachers and students better conditions and salaries and preserving our environment because it is our economy and our future — Our jobs depend on it. Ultimately, my highest priority will be acting on the requests of my community as I am working for them.

Legislature problems run deep: I insist on bringing long overdue and unprecedented transparency to Hawai’i politics. As an example I have vowed to put cameras in my office ensuring that the constant back room deals in the Senate become a thing of the past: The corporate control and protection payments will end on my watch. My office is your office, I am not for sale!

If elected, what can you do to improve the lives of your constituents?

Will Maui become an overcrowded polluted Oahu or keep a healthy sustainable economy with a clean environment? Many have had to move away just to afford a place to live and receive quality medical care. This is unfortunate, and it’s wrong.

Improvements in infrastructure for teaching, medical care and facility upgrades that preserve our environment and improve lives will be a high priority. Our people deserve a living wage and homes: I propose novel revenue generation that will fund these programs while lowering Hawai’i resident taxes.

At any time, people will be able to tune in and participate in the meetings going on in my office and be involved in their future. My radically transparent approach will bring a new level of trust in the process of local government and will be the catalyst for positive change throughout our system. People will have real representation, not corporate puppets protecting donator's special interests.

Overcrowding and unsustainable development can not continue at the current rate. We must look at the carrying capacity of Maui and choose which path we will take: My supporters tell me we must preserve Maui for our families and our future. That is why, unlike my pro-development opponent, I will never take money from any corporation or lobbyist. I am “Working for the People” of Hawai’i not for corporations.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I am a real progressive: Sometimes, rather than simply listening to the voices of old Corrupt Corporate pawns and bought Senators you really just need to stand up and be bold. Sometimes, you simply have to do what is right for the people — right away. And so I am.

About 600 days ago, I experienced a massive stroke. Doctors thought I’d never walk again; but. yesterday I walked a half a mile. They said I would die. Now I am running for Senate and relearning to run so I can someday run a marathon. I have rededicated my life again to serving the people of Hawai’i. It is an honor and privilege to stand up for my those who can’t.

There is much work to do, but together we can make the kind of change that Hawai’i needs to protect our fragile way of life. That is why I am working for the people — I am working for YOU!

To learn more about my campaign and why I refuse to accept any money from corporations or lobbyists or to support me, please visit my website at www.TerezAMATO.org

Scroll Up