Billy Kenoi

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Billy Kenoi
Billy Kenoi 2011.jpg
Kenoi in 2011
11th Mayor of Hawaii County
Assumed office
December 1, 2008
Preceded by Harry Kim
Personal details
Born 1968/1969 (age 45–46)[1]
Kalapana, Hawaii
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Takako Culhane
Children 3
Alma mater Waiakea High School
Hawaii Community College
University of Hawaii at Hilo
University of Massachusetts Amherst
William S. Richardson School of Law

William P. Kenoi is a Hawaiian politician who has served as Mayor of Hawaii County since 2008. Before being elected mayor, Kenoi served as a legislative aide in the State House and State Senate, a law clerk, a deputy public defender, and an Executive Assistant to then-mayor Harry Kim.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Kenoi was born in Kalapana, and attended Waiakea High School.[3] Kenoi attended both Hawaii Community College and University of Hawaii at Hilo, but then transferred to University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1990, and graduated in 1993.[4] Kenoi had transferred through the National Student Exchange program, and later became the NSE's President in his first year there.[4]

In 1992, Kenoi worked as an intern to Senator Daniel Inouye, during which time Kenoi attended the Democratic National Convention in New York City.[2]


Upon graduating, Kenoi worked as a Legislative Aide to State Representative Les Ihara, Jr. during the 1993 Legislative Session. He then occupied the same position in the State Senate during the 1995 and 1996 sessions.[2] After graduating from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1996, Kenoi passed the bar exam on his first attempt and then served as a clerk for Judge Richard K. Perkins of the Eighth Division of the First Circuit.[2] Kenoi then worked as a Deputy Public Defender, where he served in the Appellate, Family Court, Juvenile Criminal and Adult Family Court divisions, before finishing his career at the Public Defender’s Office at the Circuit Court.[2]

Beginning in 2001, Kenoi served as an Executive Assistant to Hawaii mayor Harry Kim, where he worked to address issues including crystal methamphetamine use, as well as homelessness and housing.[2]

Mayor of Hawaii County (2008–present)[edit]

Kenoi ran for mayor in 2008. Though Lorraine Inouye initially led in the opinion polls,[5] Kenoi advanced to the general election against Angel Pilago. On November 4, 2008, Kenoi defeated Pilago by a margin of 55.6%–40.9%.[6] At 39, Kenoi became the one of the youngest mayors in Big Island history.[1]

Kenoi was re-elected mayor on November 6, 2012, narrowly defeating former mayor Harry Kim, 49.8%–47.6% – a margin of 1,438 votes.[7]


  1. ^ a b Mari, Roger. "Billy Kenoi becomes youngest mayor in Big Island history". Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Experience". Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ "About Mayor Billy Kenoi". Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Education". Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Midweek Printing. "Race In Big Island Mayoral Race". Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ "GENERAL ELECTION - State of Hawaii - Hawaii County". Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hawaii General 2012 - State of Hawaii - Statewide". Retrieved March 18, 2013. 

External links[edit]