Hawaii County Council Chair Dominic Yagong is running for Mayor to unseat the incumbent Mayor Billy Kenoi in the next election. Yagong made his formal declaration last January, although he made no secret of his intentions for months before that.
This morning, Mahalo Broadcasting will air a one-on-one interview with Council Chair Yagong in which he shares why he’s running for Mayor and what his key focus areas will be if elected. The interview was recorded by host Sherry Bracken last Wednesday afternoon, June 13.
The Island Issues broadcast will air this morning, Sunday, June 17, at 6:30 a.m. on KKOA 107.7 fm and online, www.koacountry.com, and on LAVA 105.3 fm and online, www.lava1053.com. It will then, by Monday, be posted to this news web site, www.bigislandnewscenter.com, down on the right, along with the most recent past 8 Island Issues broadcasts.
Next Sunday, June 24, Bracken’s guest will be incumbent Mayor Billy Kenoi. On Sunday, June 15, her guest will be a third major Mayoral challenger, former Mayor Harry Kim.
The Mayor’s race is nonpartisan and can be decided in the Saturday, August 11 primary if any candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. Absentee ballots will be mailed in July. “Walk in” absentee voting, for which no advance notice nor request is needed, starts July 30 and goes through August 9 at selected locations around the island.
There will be several opportunities before the Primary for voters to hear the candidates in Mayoral Forums. On Thursday evening, July 5, a hui of five East side organizations will sponsor a Mayor forum including Kenoi, Kim, and Yagong at Sangha Hall at 6 p.m. The organizations include Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, Hawaii Island Contractors, and Hawaii Island Board of Realtors. They’re distributing tickets to the event, and those interested may call the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce to get on a ticket list if there are extras.
On Monday evening, July 9, there is a Mayoral and County Prosecutor Candidate Forum at Kealakehe High School at 6 p.m. All the Mayor and Prosecutor candidates are being invited to the forum, sponsored also by West Hawaii Today, Kohala Coast Resort Association, and Kealakehe High School. The event is free and the public is invited. The forum, moderated by LAVA 105′s Sherry Bracken, will also air live on LAVA 105.3 fm from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
On Thursday evening, July 12, Waimea Community Association and several other organizations will host the Mayor and other candidates including those for State Senate and State House, in a forum that will likely follow the “speed dating” format, with each candidate given a few minutes to speak. Then the candidates will go from table to table, answering individual questions. That forum is Thursday, July 12, at 5:15 at Waimea School, and is free and open to the public.
At the end of July, there will be a candidate forum at Akebono Theater in Pahoa. Hosted by Big Island Chronicle’s Tiffany Edwards Hunt, it will features many candidates and be an hours-long format, with details still to come. In the past, Hunt has had candidates up at specific times and the event has been a grand open house with voters able to see and hear from many candidates all in one day.
There are a total of six candidates running. The others are Share Christie (her husband, imprisoned marijuana minister Roger Christie ran for Mayor several times); frequent candidate Daniel Cunningham; and Rand Walls, who owns Baker Tom’s in Papaikou.