HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — In the first printout for Hawaii County Mayor, Mitch Roth is showing a strong lead for Hawaii County Mayor. Roth faces a number of issues upon entering office. Among those issues are the ongoing pandemic and the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea.

Speaking to KHON a day before Election Day, both candidates discussed what they saw as the most pressing issue Hawaii Island is facing. Mitch Roth said that his focus is employment and getting Hawaii Island residents back to work safely. Ikaika Marzo sees stabilizing the economy and housing as pressing issues.

On one of the most divisive issues, the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, the candidates are on opposing sides. Mitch Roth supports the construction, stating that the telescope will bring jobs to the island and provide education opportunities for the island’s keiki. Ikaika Marzo stated that he personally opposes the TMT due to the variables associated with its construction. Where both of the candidates agree is that the Hawaii County Mayor can bring all of the stakeholders together to hold those difficult discussions.

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