Mayor Harry Kim
Harry Kim (born 1939) is the Mayor of Hawaii County. He also previously served two terms as the Mayor for Hawai’i County from 2000-2008.
He attended ʻOla’a School and Hilo High School. He then attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo and graduated from Southern Oregon State University. He served in the United States Army as a medic and was a teacher and coach. Kim served for 16 years as County Director of Civil Defense. As Director, Harry Kim would go on the radio and would update the residents of Hawai’i.
Kim was born to Korean-American immigrants, the youngest of eight children. He was raised in ‘Ola‘a in what was then the Territory of Hawaii (now Keaʻau, Hawaii).
During his first term in office as Mayor, Kim advocated among other initiatives, recycling projects and the creation of a new County office complex, which later became the West Hawaii Civic Center.
In 2012, Kim ran for Mayor once more against his successor and incumbent Billy Kenoi. Kim lost by a margin of 1,438 votes earning 49% to Kenoi’s 51%.
Once again Kim ran for mayor in 2016, running in a crowed field of no less than 13 candidates.
Kim ran on a platform and pledge in 2016 not to raise County taxes further. He won the August 2016 primary with a record low voter turnout, receiving slightly more than 50% of the votes and the balance split among 12 other candidates. In keeping with a commitment he had made in every campaign, he accepted no more than a $10 donation from any individual.
A detail story of the mayor’s remarkable life is available at: http://pbshawaii.org/long-story-short-with-leslie-wilcox-harry-kim/