Meet the 2016 Hawaii County Mayoral Candidates

June 22, 2016
6 pm   -   8 pm
Kealakehe High School (cafeteria), Kona

NEWS UPDATE: Mayor-elect Harry Kim was elected to office in a record low Hawai’i county voter turn-out during the August 2016 primary.  In a crowded field of 13 mayoral candidates, Kim won with 51% margin over his nearest rival, Wally Lau.  But less than 15% of the County’s registered voters placed their ballot check mark next to Kim’s name. Hawai’s election rules ensured his primary win was final — Kim will be Hawai’i County’s next mayor.


The Candidates for Mayor, the highest governmental executive job in Hawai’i County.  This year’s 2016 election for Mayor promises to be a most interesting race.

Join us for Hawai’i County’s first mayoral candidate forum for 2016 open to the general public.  Hear from candidates about their vision and plans for the County of Hawai`i.  There are significant social, economic, and environmental challenges facing the County’s next chief executive.  Hear from the candidates their promises, vision, and plans for the County, and you decide who will do the best job for your community and the County as a whole.

The forum is co-sponsored by Community Enterprises and the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce.

This forum took place on June 22, 2016, at 6 pm at Kealakehe High School (cafeteria), Kona.

To learn more about each Forum featured speaker, click onto the presenter's name listed below their picture.

This event was moderated by:

Sherry Bracken
Hawaii Public Radio & New West Broadcasting

The event's featured speakers were:

Forum Session Video

View the recorded session here:

Ask the Presenters a Question

The following contains online Questions posed to this Forum's Presenters and the Answers they provided.

Web site submitted question from the Community, June 21, 2016:

What do you see, as candidate for Mayor, as the most important issue for Hawaii Island ?  

Candidate Answers: 

Candidate Eric Weinert Jr” Continuing to make Hawaii County a livable place, so our families and children can a make great living here, respect our ecology, have a great economy, and we don’t feel our future generations have to move away to go and  make it in the  world..”

Candidate Tim Waugh“The length of time it take to get a building permit…”

Candidate Shannon McCandles“it’s Sustainability. It’s not just about creating more agricultural, but sustaining our current communities. The reason why so many of us live here and why so many people move to Hawai’i Island is because of its beauty, unique environment, and community, and we need to be able to sustain these things not just for now, but the future as well.”    

Candidate Wally Lau...“is to sustain our economy, moving it forward, which equates to meaningful jobs, which equates to healthy families, and equates then to healthy communities along the way. So its finding opportunities for more jobs in our community.”

Candidate Harry Kim“as I said this back in the mid 80’s, it’s the same problem then as it is today; we are developing a lifestyle here of government economics that is making it very difficult for people to live here.  The gap between the haves and have nots has become a very serious homeless issue now. This morning’s paper said that 50% near are having a hard time, that’s got to be the biggest problem.”

Candidate Pete Hoffmann“there are too many people on this island that live at or below the Federal poverty level. Until we address poverty, no matter what we do it’s going to have very little value.   Until we address the idea that too few people have enough to eat, and too many are not being housed in proper quarters, I don’t think we’re  doing the job the way we are suppose to do as a community and as an island. In my opinion we have to address these issues now.”   

Candidate Marlene Hapaiit is our health and safety infrastructure. Hawai’i being known as the number one county in the nation for natural hazards that can occur at any time.  We are not prepared.  This is something we really need to work on, and that would be a major focus, and I’ve done work in that area and I feel it is very important.” 

Candidate Paul Bryant“I have to agree with former Mayor Kim and Councilmember Hoffmann, it is poverty, and we have untold numbers of people who worry about their housing, we have more than 40% of the people on the island that use EBT (food stamps), it’s unconscionable on an island that should be producing its own food.    


1 reply
  1. Bill Bugbee
    Bill Bugbee says:

    This West Hawai’i Forum promises to be a most informative event for all of West Hawai’i. The event Moderator will cover important questions and issues facing Hawai’i county, and seek out from the candidate’s their ideas on the future direction for Community government in addressing those issues. Please join us for this unique audience opportunity to gain insights on each candidates’ priorities, vision, and plans for the County.

    All registered candidates for the office of Mayor have been invited with individual tables provided for each candidate with the opportunity to meet the community, and provide the opportunity for those attending to directly ask candidates questions before and after the Forum’s on-stage mayoral candidate panelists Q&A session.


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