Long-time Big Island politician Robert Herkes dies

Photo: Hawaii House of Representatives - Majority

A long-time politician from the Big Island has died.

Former state representative, state senator, Hawaii County Council member and local businessman Robert Herkes died this week. He was 83 years old.

“Bob had a solid record of getting things done for the people of Hawaii. His long career in public service brought about countless benefits for Hawaii Island, including his integral role in incorporating the appropriation for the first FEMA-certified shelter in Kau, providing a drinking water system for Ocean View, and establishing a mobile medical van to bring basic medical services to rural areas,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

“Hawaii has lost a dedicated and passionate public servant who championed protecting consumer rights during his 18 years in the State House of Representatives,” said House speaker Joseph Souki. “Bob worked tirelessly to pass legislation that strengthened the rights of residents in mortgage foreclosures. He was an early and strong advocate of natural disaster preparedness and was one of the first to call attention to the health effects of vog. He was a good legislator, highly respected by his colleagues and a great friend. I will miss him.”

Herkes was born in Iloilo City, Philippines, and raised in Hilo.

He leaves behind wife, Jo-Anna, and sons, Bobby, Kenny and Doug.

The governor intends to order flags to half-staff on the day of services, once they are announced by the family.

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