Mayor of Hawaii County

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Mayor of Hawaii County
Hawaii County hi seal.png
Mitch Roth

since December 7, 2020
Inaugural holder Shunichi Kimura

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 Mitch Roth. [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 1989 [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 – December 5, 2016 Billy Kenoi Unaffiliated
December 5, 2016 - December 7, 2020 Harry Kim Unaffiliated
December 7, 2020 - Incumbent Mitch Roth Unaffiliated


  1. ^ County of Hawaii — Mayor, Hawaii County, 2005. Accessed 2007-08-05.
  2. ^ a b c d "Last Isle mayoral vacancy was in 1990". Honolulu Advertiser. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  3. ^ Honolulu Star-Bulletin Editorial Column
  4. ^
  5. ^ County of Hawaii 1996 - 1997 Annual Report: Department of Parks and Recreation Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Lorraine Rodero Inouye - Candidate For Mayor of the County of Hawai'i Archived 2008-11-20 at the Wayback Machine