Hawaii County Council Chair Dominic Yagong, who recently came in a distant third in his race for Hawaii County Mayor, is endorsing former Mayor Harry Kim for the job.
Yagong’s campaign, which he’s been waging for the past year, was mostly focused against the policies of incumbent Mayor Billy Kenoi. In the election, Mayor Billy Kenoi received 18,390 votes, former Mayor Harry Kim got 14,801. Yagong was third with 8,352. There were three other candidates, Share Christie, Daniel Cunningham, and Rand Walls, who received just under 1100 votes.
Yagong issued a statement on Friday, August 17, throwing his support behind Kim. He praised Kim’s exemplary public service over the years, which totals around 24 years in Hawaii County Civil Defense and 8 years as the Hawaii County Mayor. Kim became known, or his voice became known, as the voice of Hawaii County Civil Defense while serving as head of the agency. He continued that role as the Voice of Hawaii County Civil Defense even after becoming Mayor.
Kim said in an interview with Big Island News Center that if he’s elected Mayor again, he will continue the tradition of focusing on Hawaii County Civil Defense as the Mayor is the titular head of the agency, even though there generally is an on-site Administrator who manages the day-to-day Civil Defense operations. The 72-year-old former Mayor said he decided to get into the race to help deal with a number of problems–ranging from removing the gap between the haves and the have nots, providing adequate support for the Community Development Plans, and making sure there is local control for geothermal development.
Yagong said, ” I have been equally critical of both Kenoi and Kim leading up to the Primary Elections as no one candidate (including myself) is perfect. However, there is no substitution for honesty and Harry exudes trust and encourages cooperation in dealing with matters important to the people of our island.”