(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim says he was surprised by the results of Saturday’s primary election that left him out of the general election run-off contest, which will be between Mitch Roth and Ikaika Marzo in November.
Mayor Kim finished in third place with 9,988 votes, or 15.4%. Roth finished first with 31.1% (20,225 votes) and Marzo had 21.2% (13,764 votes). As per the nonpartisan election rules, the top two vote-getters (if no candidates reach over 50%) will face off in the November run-off.
The day after the primary, Sherry Bracken asked Mayor Kim for his reaction, which he shared on the KWXX Island Conversations radio broadcast. The full interview can be heard here on the KWXX website.
Kim said a Honolulu-based news reporter called him with the results of the first printout while at he was at home, where he had “a very small gathering” with his family on the night of the election.
“I was kind of taken back,” Kim said. “That was very, very disappointing and [I was] surprised.”
“I always felt to do the job of everything – and not only mayor but civil defense, and other jobs – you have to have your pulse on the community,” Mayor Kim said. “I thought I had a fairly good pulse.”
Kim said that during his time as a public servant, his goal has been “to simply make people trust their government.”
“I really thought I had a better feel,” Kim said, “but obviously the election results shows you, [I] really did not, because the total percentage of people voted for me – that was a surprise! And that just hit me,” he said.
“My campaign is simply judge me by my work,” Mayor Kim said, adding that he always said that if voters are not satisfied with his work, “then I don’t belong here. And they made that point, so I accept that.”
Bracken then asked Kim what he plans to do to ensure a smooth transition for whoever is elected to be the next mayor.
“I guarantee you that will be a high priority as soon as a time is allowed,” Mayor Kim said.
“I learned – because I’ve been around so long, I won’t mention any name – what is a poor transition and what is a good one, and how to make it better,” Kim said.