Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has pulled election papers to seek a fourth term of office, according to the State Office of Elections.

While Kim has not formally filed, the action indicates that he is seriously considering running. Hawaii News Now reported Monday that Kim says he is indeed running.

Nineteen candidates have pulled papers for the mayoral gig, including several well-known candidates.

They include include former County Councilmembers Kelly Greenwell and Stacy Higa.

Hawaii Island Mayor forum Harry Kim portrait. 14 july 2016

Harry Kim at a mayoral candidates’ forum in Hilo in 2016.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Kim previously served from 2000 to 2008. He ran again in 2012 but lost narrowly to incumbent Billy Kenoi.

Kim was elected mayor again in 2016.

The 2020 race will no doubt center on the county’s response to COVID-19.

“The job of Hawaii County Mayor is always challenging,” Hilo radio station KWXX reported Monday. “But in light of a nonexistent economy, plunging tax revenues, unemployment now at around 37% statewide, and 70 cases of COVID-19 on the island as of Sunday, per the State Department of Health, with an uncertain future — whoever starts the job on the first Monday in December, 2020, will have more significant challenges than usual.”

The filing deadline for all Hawaii candidates is June 2, and the primary is Aug. 8.

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