Billy Kenoi becomes youngest mayor in Big Island history

Published: Nov. 5, 2008 at 8:45 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 5, 2008 at 10:17 PM HST
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Billy Kenoi
Billy Kenoi
Angel Pilago
Angel Pilago

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HILO, Big Island (KHNL) - On the Big Island, Billy Kenoi and Angel Pilago battled it out to see who would replace outgoing Mayor Harry Kim.

And 39-year-old Kenoi became one of the youngest mayors in Big Island history, easily defeating Angel Pilago by nearly 10,000.

Kenoi is the former Executive Assistant to Big Island Mayor Harry Kim.

By the time Billy Kenoi arrived at his headquarters in Hilo he was confirmed the winner, and greeted by about 300 jubilant family members, friends and supporters.

"This is about everybody on Hawaii Island being meaningfully involved in a decision making to change the future of our community," said Kenoi.

Kenoi admits it was a tough race against a strong opponent but what really hit home with the voters was their trust in him to unite the island through continued hard work.

"A lot of it was a simple message that we were able to back up our message of bringing people together with years of service," said Kenoi.

As for his opponent Angel Pilago, he says this loss is not the end of his political career. He plans to continue working with community groups and help others who are interested in running for office.

"There's certainly a need for long term development of future entry level politicians, we need to develop politicians now," said Pilago.

"I have nothing but aloha for him and his family and his campaign team, I thought it was a great campaign, he ran an excellent race," said Kenoi.

After enjoying his victory party, Billy Kenoi says he will spend some time with his family, then the first order of business will be to put together his cabinet members.