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Kenoi faces his old boss, Kim, in Hawaii island mayor's race

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 4:35 p.m. HST, Oct 23, 2012

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi was unable to win a majority of votes and will face his former boss, two-term former mayor Harry Kim, in the general election.

Kenoi led the entire evening, while Kim stayed behind him by 8 or 9 percentage points.

Kim made a last-minute entry into what had been a two-way race between Kenoi and Council Chairman Dominic Yagong.

Yagong, who trailed a distant third, conceded the race after more than 30,000 votes had been tallied. However, he said he would not ask his supporters Saturday night to support either candidate.

“The Harry Kim factor” was always the question in this race, Yagong said. “Every vote for Harry or me is a vote against Billy,” and he said after early votes.

“Kenoi has a very good lead with approximately 8 percent, and that’s a substantial lead,” Kim said. “That’s a big gap to close.”

“There’s a long three months campaign coming up, and you need to work harder to help the public know why you’re in this race,” Kim said.

“The only disappointment, and it is a major disappointment, is the voter turnout is so small.’ he said.

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