Saturday, Dec. 09, 2023 |
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Mayor Harry Kim has decided he’d like to lead the county for another four years.
Kim, 80, pulled nomination papers for the mayor’s race on April 20, according to the state Office of Elections.
He said Tuesday his decision to run comes after months of thoughtful consideration, where he weighed the needs of his family, his personal ability and willingness to continue and the needs of the island.
Kim listed progress creating homes for the homeless, lava recovery projects and federal and state funding for Puna, his vision for Maunakea that would bring scientists and cultural practitioners together and his balanced approach to the current coronavirus pandemic while under the strictures of state law as among his top accomplishments.
“I’m applying again,” said Kim. “I ask everybody to judge me by work.”
He said there was nothing special about the timing of when he pulled his papers.
“It was the culmination of months of thinking, and I guarantee you it’s based on what I and my supporters feel and it had nothing to do with anything else,” Kim said. “The rest is up to the public.”
Once he files, he will join a slate of eight other candidates who have filed so far for the Aug. 8 primary. Another 10 have pulled papers but haven’t filed. Candidate filing continues through June 2.
Kim served eight years as mayor before sitting out eight years, and then won a new four-year term in 2016.
Those who have filed include:
• Mitch Roth, 55, Hawaii County prosecutor since 2012.
• Bob Fitzgerald, 67, former director and deputy director of the Department of Parks and Recreation in the administration of former Mayor Billy Kenoi.
• Kelly Greenwell, former North Kona County Council member, farmer and nurseryman.
• Grayden K. Ha‘i-Kelly, a musician and entertainer who also works at two Kona-area resorts.
• James “Jiro” Yuda, 44, a former deputy public defender and currently an attorney in the Family Law Division of the state Department of the Attorney General.
• Mike Ruggles, 63, a longtime marijuana advocate and activist and father of former Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles.
• Ikaika Marzo, 36, a Puna tour operator who became a social media phenomenon during the 2018 Kilauea eruption.
• Tante Urban, a former Kailua-Kona restaurateur who’s taken a leave of absence from the Maui newspaper, Fil-Am Voice.
Those who have pulled nomination papers but have not yet filed include:
• Wendell Ka‘ehu‘ae‘a, 77, a Hilo security guard and perennial candidate for more than a decade.
• Abolghassem Abraham Sadegh, a former government official in Iran and frequent testifier at County Council meetings.
• Ted Shaneyfelt, a lecturer in computer science at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
• Daniel Cunningham, who ran unsuccessfully for County Council District 5 in 2014.
• Harvey Eli, 65, a Kona resident who identifies himself as a subject of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
• Neil Azevedo, division chief for the Highway Division in the county Department of Public Works.
• Yumi Kawano, 59, of Volcano is a forester-conservationist and former teacher.
• Michael “Mikey” Glendon, a Hawaiian Homes beneficiary actively protesting the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea
• Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder, a freshman County Council member representing Puna.
• Former County Council Chairman Stacy Higa, 56, president and CEO of Na Leo public television.
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