Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth announces bid for reelection

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Mitch Roth officially announced his bid for reelection as the Mayor of the County of Hawaiʻi, Thursday, with the goal of continuing his vision for a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island through affordable housing and other projects.

Roth made his announcement at Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo in front of at least 165 supporters. Much of the work Roth and his administration have done since taking office on Dec. 7, 2020, has been fueled by this dream of a sustainable island for future generations.

Mayor Mitch Roth with supporters on Jan. 11, 2024, after announcing his plan to run a second term. (Photo courtesy: Cyrus Johnasen)

To make that a reality, Roth addressed affordable housing. During the campaign event, he said the county has issued more than 3,884 new single-family home permits since he’s been in office, surpassing other counties, to provide affordable housing.

“When we came in there with 1,200 affordable housing starts in the pipeline,” Roth said, adding under his administration, they’ve been able to add almost 7,000 more to the pipeline.


For Roth, it’s important to him that it’s affordable for local families to stay on the island as his children have moved to the mainland and likely won’t return.

“We’re at a time in history where there are more Hawaiians living outside of the state than in it,” he said. “As we lose Hawaiians we lose culture, if we lose culture we lose our identity, if we lose identity we lose our sense of place. We have a special island and we want to preserve it.”

Roth said he’s worked with Hawai‘i County Council to ensure this new housing goes to local families and young adults moving back home.


Under his administration, Roth said his team has allocated more than $247 million to address long-overdue maintenance issues and enhance the county’s resilience. Significant investments were made in parks and recreational facilities.

The county is set to break ground on projects, including Kealakehe Regional Park and Hilo Skate Park. Hawai‘i County is also gearing up for a significant infrastructure project, redesigning the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Facility to prevent potential environmental hazards.

Roth also spoke about the administration’s investments in clean energy by upgrading county transportation to electric vehicles and buses. The goal is to add 18 electric buses to the island’s transportation service by the end of 2024.


In the past three years, Roth has helped to build up public safety with investments in lifeguards, a new medical helicopter, fire station repairs and more.

Roth called upon the community to continue dreaming together, pushing the boundaries of imagination to create a better, brighter, and more vibrant island home.

Candidate filing for the 2024 election starts Feb. 1. So far, Roth is facing one opponent, Kimo Alameda, former Bay Clinic chief executive officer, who plans to announce his run for Hawai‘i County mayor on Saturday.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a full-time reporter for Pacific Media Group. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.

Tiffany can be reached at tiffany.demasters@pmghawaii.com.
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