HGEA endorses Harry Kim in Big Island mayoral race

HGEA endorses Harry Kim in Big Island mayoral race
Billy Kenoi (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
Billy Kenoi (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the deadline to run for mayor of the Big Island approaches, former Mayor Harry Kim has picked up a key endorsement.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state's largest union representing more than 50,000 people, announced Thursday it is endorsing Kim.

"Harry Kim is a pragmatic leader who believes in and cares for Hawaii's working people," said HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira. "He understands how decisions he makes as mayor will impact public employees and the community. Harry embodies middle class values, and he recognizes the rights of workers to organize while balancing the needs of all who call the Big Island home."

Kim served as mayor from 2000 to 2008 and was also the county's civil defense director for 16 years.

More than a dozen people have filed to take over the position from Mayor Billy Kenoi, who's under investigation for his questionable use of taxpayer money, racking up more than $120,000 on his county purchasing card, much of which was used for personal use.

The deadline to file as a candidate is June 7.

Here is the list of all candidates:

  • Richard E. Abbett
  • Alvin A. Akina, Jr.
  • Gregory Arianoff
  • Paul W. Bryant
  • Robert D. Gentzel
  • Jefferson D. Gourley
  • Marlene Marie Hapa
  • Peter S. Hoffmann
  • Wendell Ka'ehu'ae'a
  • Harry Kim
  • Walter K.M. Lau
  • Helen Olena Luta
  • Shannon K.K. McCandless
  • Gene S. Tamashiro
  • Timothy R. Waugh
  • Eric Drake Weinert, Jr.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.