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Mayor of Hawaii County

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Title: Mayor of Hawaii County  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Bernard Akana, Herbert Matayoshi, Larry Tanimoto, Hawaii County, Hawaii, Hawaii (island)
Collection: Mayors of Hawaii County
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mayor of Hawaii County

The Mayor of Hawaii is the chief executive officer of the County of Hawaii in the state of Hawaii. He or she has municipal jurisdiction over the Big Island of Hawaii. The current mayor is Billy Kenoi.[1] The Mayor of Hawaii County is the successor of the Royal Governors of Hawaii Island of the Kingdom of Hawaii.


Hawaii County began electing a mayor in 1968 when the present form of charter government was instituted. For most of the 20th century elected members of the Board of Supervisors, precursor to the Hawaii County Council, chose the chairman, and that chairman was essentially the chief operating officer of Hawaii County. That changed in 1964 a year after Act 73 of the 1963 Legislature which enabled counties to draft their own charters. Former Honolulu deputy County Corporation Counsel Shunichi Kimura was elected the last County Chairman in 1964 and the County elected its first mayor in 1968. Bruce McCall (1976), Megumi Kon (1984) and Larry Tanimoto (1990) all filled out the last few months of their predecessor's terms, in the case of Tanimoto, for Bernard Akana, who died of cancer less than two years into his term. Lorraine Inouye then won a special election to serve out Akana's last two years.

Past Mayors

Term in Office Name Party Other notes
1968–May 1974 Shunichi Kimura Democrat Resigned to become a 3rd Circuit Court judge.[2]
May 1974 - 1974 Bruce McCall Democrat Kimura's managing director; became mayor after his resignation.[2]
1974–1984 Herbert Matayoshi Democrat Resigned to run for Hawaii State Senate[2]
1984 Megumi Kon Democrat Matayoshi's managing director; became mayor after his resignation[2]
1984–1988 Dante Keala Carpenter Democrat Lost reelection to Akana in 1999[3]
1988–April 12, 1990 Bernard Akana Republican Died of cancer while in office[4]
April 12, 1990 - 1990 Larry Tanimoto Republican Bernard Akana's managing director after Susan Labrenz left the post earlier; became mayor after Akana's death for eight months until the special election to fill Akana's term.[5]
1990–December 7, 1992 Lorraine Inouye Democrat Won special election held eight months after Akana's death.[6]
December 7, 1992 – December 2000 Stephen Kei Yamashiro Democrat
December 2000 – December 1, 2008 Harry Kim Republican and unaffiliated In the 2004 elections, local laws were changed so mayoral candidates were without party affiliations.
December 1, 2008–Incumbent Billy Kenoi


  1. ^ County of Hawaii — Mayor, Hawaii County, 2005. Accessed 2007-08-05.
  2. ^ a b c d "Last Isle mayoral vacancy was in 1990".  
  3. ^ Honolulu Star-Bulletin Editorial Column
  4. ^
  5. ^ County of Hawaii 1996 - 1997 Annual Report: Department of Parks and Recreation
  6. ^ Lorraine Rodero Inouye - Candidate For Mayor of the County of Hawai'i
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