One is a political novice who drew the spotlight on social media during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. The other is a veteran of county government, the island’s top prosecutor for the past eight years.
Hawaii County voters are choosing a new mayor after veteran county leader Harry Kim failed to capture enough primary election ballots to finish among the two qualifiers, finishing a distant third.
Mitch Roth, 56, is the front-runner, having topped the primary with 31.5% of the vote. He is a former Honolulu prosecutor who joined the Hawaii County’s prosecuting attorney’s office in 1998 and was first elected to the top post in 2012. He touts, among other things, his experience in government as a key reason for why voters should elect him mayor.