Bob McDermott has been married to Utufa’asili J. McDermott for 37 years; they have eight children and 14 grandchildren. Faith in God is very important to the McDermott family. Bob and “Utu” are devout Catholics.
Bob served eight years in the USMC. He came to Hawaii as a young Marine in 1982, got out of the Corps, and met his wife Utufa’asili (Utu) at Chaminade University of Honolulu in 1986; he fell in love with “Utu” and they just celebrated their 37th anniversary. Upon graduating from Chaminade, Bob matriculated to USMC Officer Candidate School, while Utu stayed home in Hawaii and raised their first-born son. Later Utu joined Bob at Camp Pendleton, the home of the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines at the time. Eventually,McDermott would deploy to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm/Shield. Bob returned to the United States after deciding one war was enough for their little family, which continued to grow over the years. Bob exited the Marine Corps achieving the rank of Captain.
After a short stint in the Kona Coffee industry, Bob decided to run for office in 1994, Bob won a state house seat in 1996 as a champion for traditional marriage. Bob continued to get reelected, distinguishinghimself as a champion of repairing dilapidated Radford High School, until he decided to run for congress in 2002. He lost his congressional bid and returned to the private sector for a decade, moved to another part of the island and was hired as the Executive Director of the Honolulu Navy League.
While managing the Navy League office, Bob built upon a solid foundation laid by the previous leaders and was blessed to work with “givers of time talent and treasure” supporting our young men and women in uniform. Bob created several new events for the Navy League and honored outstanding citizens and patriots. He was blessed to work with great business and military leaders, soaking up knowledge at every turn.
Bob was asked to run for the Hawaii State House of Representatives once again and won a squeaker by approximately 150 votes! He could not have done it without his family’s support. During the following 10 years of elective service, Bob Champion traditional marriage; stopped medically inaccurate and age-inappropriate sex ed programs (Pono Choices) getting the Department of Education to pull back the program, not once, but twice! He also fought for his woefully underfunded Campbell High School, which was built for 1600 students, but had 3200 students on campus. In short, he left a big footprint!
In late 2022, Bob blew the whistle on the Red Hill fuel storage site, He called for the Governor to declare a state of emergency in September of 2022 due to leakage over the State of Hawaii’s sole source EPA-certified aquifer. Armed with publicly available data, McDermott was the lone elected voice declaring this was a dire situation and an emergency. The congressional delegation was as quiet as church mice.
Several weeks later the Red Hill fuel facility leaked fuel into the water system exposing thousands of military personnel and their families, along with a segment of the civilian community to poisonous water, it was horrible. It was then McDermott decided to run for Senate in 2022 to keep the pressure on the sleepy congressional delegation; he raised no money and lost, of course. Bob’s objective was to keep the pressure on the delegation, and it worked; in the long run, it was a victory for Bob and the People of Hawaii. But there is much more to be done and written. Now we begin the next chapter!