Kenoi defeats Kim in close race for Hawaii County Mayor - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kenoi wins close race for Hawaii County Mayor

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

In the closest race of the night, Billy Kenoi was re-elected as mayor of Hawaii County, defeating his former mentor Harry Kim.

Kenoi received 31,433 votes, or 49.9 percent of the ballots cast. Kim, who was Big Island mayor between 2000 and 2008, received 29,976 votes, or 47.6 percent of the vote.

"When they say every vote counts, every vote counts," Kenoi said.

The two candidates have a history that dates back decades.

Kim was Kenoi's childhood football coach, and Kenoi later served as executive assistant to Kim while he was mayor.

Kenoi defeated Kim by nearly 3,600 votes in during September's primary election but that was not enough to avoid a run-off in the today's general election. 

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