Harry Kim has won the race for Hawaii County mayor and avoids a runoff in November.
Kim, a former mayor, led Wally Lau, a former managing director, 50.5 percent to 24.4 percent, when a fourth batch of results was released just before midnight Saturday.
With blank ballots and over votes removed from the tally, Kim had an even bigger margin over Lau.
Former County Council member Pete Hoffman was third with 10.3 percent.
Ten other candidates are also in the running to take over the reins from Billy Kenoi, who is term-limited.
They are Marlene Hapai (6.1 percent), Shannon McCandless (2 percent) and Wendell Kaehuaea (2 percent). Daniel Howard Cunningham, Helen Olena Luta, Paul Bryant, Alvin Akin Jr., Gene Tamashiro, Eric Drake Weinert and Timothy Waugh all had less than 1 percent of the vote.
Hawaii County is growing fast and faces a myriad of challenges: rising homelessness, high food costs, a need for better and more roads, a challenge to telescopes on top of Mauna Kea, battles over geothermal energy in Puna and an very active volcano.
There is also a persistent divide between the east and west sides of the island, although candidates for office stress the need to take care of all the county’s residents.
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