Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has confirmed he plans to seek another term in office.
Kim's attempt to retain the position will be his fifth campaign for mayor. The independent served as mayor from 2000 to 2008 and returned to the post for his current term beginning in 2016.
Kim, 80, took out nomination papers for the mayor’s race April 20, according to the state Office of Elections.
Kim said Monday he is proud of his work leading the county during the coronavirus pandemic and his efforts to curb the island's difficulties resulting from the large number of residents experiencing homelessness.
He said he has unfinished business with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and a protest movement against construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea that cost the county significant police time and resources.
“This is something I feel I should do,” Kim said of his campaign. “This is something I feel, truthfully, I want to do.”
Kim said he will not accept campaign donations of more than $10.
“I think he probably has a pretty strong shot of getting reelected, but I’m sure his age and his health are going to be the real issues that cause voters to question whether or not he should do it again for another four years,” said Colin Moore, director of the University of Hawaii's Public Policy Center.
Kim previously suffered heart attacks.
Eight other candidates have filed to run in the Aug. 8 primary and candidate filing continues through June 2.
They are Mitch Roth, Bob Fitzgerald, Kelly Greenwell, Grayden Hai-Kelly, James Yuda, Mike Ruggles, Ikaika Marzo, and Tante Urban.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.