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Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim loses his reelection bid; 2 challengers to meet in November

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / JAN. 15
                                Big Island Mayor Harry Kim has lost to challengers Mitch Roth and Ikaika Marzo in his re-election bid.

    STAR-ADVERTISER / JAN. 15

    Big Island Mayor Harry Kim has lost to challengers Mitch Roth and Ikaika Marzo in his re-election bid.

  • Mitch Roth

    Mitch Roth

  • Ikaika Marzo

    Ikaika Marzo

Incumbent Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim lost his bid for a fourth term as county prosecutor Mitch Roth and community activist Ikaika Marzo garnered most of the votes in the mayoral race in the 2020 primary election.

Roth topped the race with 31.5% followed by Marzo at 21.4% and Kim with 15.6%.

Roth and Marzo will now face off in the Nov. 3 general election.

Following the results of Saturday night’s election returns, Kim said, “I fully accept it.”

Roth, 55, is a first-time mayoral candidate. If elected, Roth said his main priority change the philosophy of government by aiming to help the community thrive.

“What I’ve done throughout my entire career is solve problems,” he said.

He launched the first Community Oriented Prosecution program in the state and in Hawaii County and helped create the Pahoa Weed and Seed program, Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii Island and the Hawaii County Citizens Emergency Response Team among others. He also launched the first Restorative Justice Program in a prosecutor’s office in the country.

In recent years, Hawaii County has been walloped with the 2018 Kilauea volcano eruption that destroyed more than 700 homes and Hurricane Lane that caused extensive damage later that year.

The island joined the rest of the state in the current battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Recognizing the urgency of COVID-19 with thousands of cases reported in China in the beginning of the year, Kim, 80, was the first mayor in the state to sign an emergency order in February to prepare for the novel coronavirus.

Marzo, 36, gained a strong social media presence during the Kilauea volcano eruption after he posted video of the lava as it entered Leilani Estates. He launched a community relief center dubbed Pu‘uhonua O Puna during the 2018 Kilauea eruption.

“I had a strong presence in social media which became a huge part of our campaign,” Marzo said. “That was a No. 1 asset for us.”

Like Roth, this is Marzo’s first time vying of the mayor’s seat. “I’m so humbled and excited to get back on the road,” Marzo said.

Mayoral races for Maui and Kauai counties will be held in 2022.

In Hawaii County’s race for prosecuting attorney, candidate Kelden B. A. Waltjen was declared the winner with 51.9 percent of the votes.

In the race for nine-seat Hawaii County Council, incumbents Ashley Kierkiewicz and Maile M. David ran unopposed in the Districts 4 and 6 seats respectively.

In the race for Maui County Council, all nine seats are up for grabs, however, four seats for West Maui, Kahului, Makawao-Haiku-Paia and Lanai have three or more candidates. The top two in each of those races will advance to the general election.

In Kauai County, former mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. is among the 21 candidates vying for seven open seats in the county council race.

The latest results showed Carvalho, 58, in the top seven. The other six candidates include incumbents Mason Chock, Arryl Kaneshiro, KipuKai Kualii, Felicia Cowden and Luke Evslin and candidate Billy DeCosta.

The top 14 candidates will advance to the general election.

Incumbent Kauai prosecutor Justin Kollar ran unopposed in the race for the seat.

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