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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, July 20, 2006

Kim nears decision on run for governor

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

Big Island Mayor Harry Kim is struggling to decide whether to enter the gubernatorial race.


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Big Island Mayor Harry Kim said yesterday he would decide by tomorrow whether to enter the Democratic primary for governor.

A potential Kim campaign has been the wild card for Democrats planning their election strategy against popular Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. The inability of former state Sen. Randall Iwase and Wai'a-nae harbormaster William Aila Jr. to rally Democrats over the past few months has kept the Kim speculation alive.

The filing deadline is Tuesday.

"I realize that I am being unfair and causing a problem by indecision," Kim said.

"This is a real dilemma for me. And I know people who are in the political world who especially don't accept this, but this is not a game. This is not an ego trip. This is a dilemma of me separating what I feel I want to do in life versus what I feel I should do."

Sources close to Kim and people who have spoken to the mayor and his aides said he is agonizing over the decision.

Several union and party leaders said that Kim, a former civil defense administrator now in his second term as Big Island mayor, would have some populist appeal against Lingle.

Sources said Kim has been privately critical of the governor's leadership and might use a quixotic campaign as a forum to speak his mind.

Reach Derrick DePledge at ddepledge@honoluluadvertiser.com.