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List of governors of American Samoa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Governor of American Samoa
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Incumbent
Lemanu Peleti Mauga

since January 3, 2021
ResidenceGovernment House, Pago Pago
AppointerGeneral election
Term length4 years single term,
eligible for second.
PrecursorMalietoa
FormationFebruary 17, 1900
First holderBenjamin Franklin Tilley
as Commandant
WebsiteOffice of the Governor

This is a list of governors, etc. of the part of the Samoan Islands (now comprising American Samoa) under United States administration since 1900.

From 1900 to 1978 governors were appointed by the Federal government of the United States. Since that time they have been elected for 4-year terms by the people of American Samoa.

History

When the Department of the Interior sent four governors in a three year period, local Samoans began advocating for choosing their own governors. In the late 1940s, a Navy Governor, as well as an Interior Governor, had expressed their beliefs that High Orator Chief Tuiasosopo would be a suitable governor. In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Peter Tali Coleman as Governor of American Samoa, the first person of Samoan descent to occupy that role. Coleman, a member of the Republican Party, was a U.S. Army officer with a law degree from Georgetown University. After his presidential appointment, local residents became increasingly aware that Samoans can do the job just as good as the federal government, which until now had appointed governors to the islands. Soon local lawmakers such as Governor Owen Aspinall and H. Rex Lee favored the idea of locals being elected governors. On the other side was Governor John Morse Haydon, who openly opposed the idea. An administrative judge criticized Haydon and following a Pago Pago hearing, the Department of the Interior began distancing itself from Haydon and soon replaced him with a new governor. The concept of an elected governor was proposed with Senate Bill 20 and a Gubernatorial Commission was created in order to consider ways to implement the concept of electing governors.[1]

In a 1977 article from the New York Times, it describes how opposition to an appointed Governor began with the appointment of Earl B. Ruth. Within eighteen months, the congressman from North Carolina had removed several Samoans in administrative posts, who had been appointed by former Republican Governor John Morse Haydon. Governor Ruth was soon recalled to Washington, DC and was later quoted for having called Samoans "lazy, thieving liars." After having turned down the proposal to elect their own Governor in three plebiscites, American Samoans in a 1976 referendum overwhelmingly approved the measure in which allowed them to elect that official. The first popularly elected Governor was Republican Peter Tali Coleman that same year.[2]

Republican Te'o J. Fuavai was one of the earliest proponents of the movement to elect Governors in American Samoa, as opposed to Governors being appointed by the federal government. Fuavai sponsored a resolution that proposed the Department of the Interior to permit elections.[3]

Appointed governors (1900–1978)

Naval administrators (1900–1951)

Term Portrait Incumbent Notes
February 17, 1900 – November 27, 1901
BenjaminFranklinTilley.jpg
Benjamin Franklin Tilley, Commandant April 17, 1900: Treaty of Cession of Tutuila
November 27, 1901 – December 16, 1902
Uriel Sebree.jpg
Uriel Sebree, Commandant
December 16, 1902 – May 5, 1903
Henry Minett 1877.jpg
Henry Minett, acting Commandant
May 5, 1903 – January 30, 1905
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Edmund Beardsley Underwood, Commandant/Governor July 16, 1904: Treaty of Cession of Manu'a
January 30, 1905 – May 21, 1908
Charles Brainard Taylor Moore.png
Charles Brainard Taylor Moore, Governor
May 21, 1908 – November 10, 1910
Seal of American Samoa.svg
John Frederick Parker, Governor
November 10, 1910 – March 14, 1913
William Michael Crose.jpg
William Michael Crose, Governor July 17, 1911: U.S. Naval Station Tutuila renamed American Samoa
March 14 – July 14, 1913
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Nathan Post, acting Governor First term
July 14, 1913 – October 2, 1914
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Clark Daniel Stearns, Governor
October 2, 1914 – December 6, 1914
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Nathan Post, acting Governor Second term
December 6, 1914 – March 1, 1915
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Charles Armijo Woodruff, acting Governor
March 1, 1915 – June 10, 1919
John Martin Poyer.jpg
John Martin Poyer, Governor
June 10, 1919 – November 3, 1920
Warren J. Terhune (US Navy officer).png
Warren Terhune, Governor Committed suicide
November 11, 1920 – March 1, 1922
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Waldo A. Evans, Governor
March 1, 1922 – September 4, 1923
EdwinTaylorPollock.jpg
Edwin Taylor Pollock, Governor
September 4, 1923 – March 17, 1925
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Edward Stanley Kellogg, Governor
March 17, 1925 – September 9, 1927
Henry F. Bryan.jpg
Henry Francis Bryan, Governor
September 9, 1927 – August 2, 1929
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Stephen Victor Graham, Governor February 20, 1929: U.S. Congress recognized the cession of Tutuila and Manu'a by their chiefs, with retrospective to 16 July 1904.
August 2, 1929 – March 24, 1931
Gatewood Sanders Lincoln.PNG
Gatewood Lincoln, Governor First term
March 24 – April 22, 1931
James S. Spore.jpg
James Sutherland Spore, acting Governor
April 22 – July 17, 1931
Arthur Tenney Emerson.png
Arthur Emerson, acting Governor
July 17, 1931 – May 12, 1932
Gatewood Sanders Lincoln.PNG
Gatewood Lincoln, Governor Second term
May 12, 1932 – April 10, 1934
George Landenberger 1932.jpg
George Landenberger, Governor
April 10–17, 1934
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Thomas C. Latimore, acting Governor
April 17, 1934 – January 15, 1936
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Otto Dowling, Governor
January 15–20, 1936
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Thomas Benjamin Fitzpatrick, acting Governor
January 20, 1936 – June 3, 1938
MacGillivray Milne head.jpg
MacGillivray Milne, Governor
June 26, 1938 – July 30, 1940
Edward W. Hanson.jpg
Edward Hanson, Governor
July 30 – August 8, 1940
Jesse Wallace.jpg
Jesse Wallace, acting Governor
August 8, 1940 – June 5, 1942
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Laurence Wild, Governor Henry Louis Larsen served as Military Governor from January 17 to April 25, 1942
June 5, 1942 – February 8, 1944
Seal of American Samoa.svg
John Gould Moyer, Governor
February 8, 1944 – January 27, 1945
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Allen Hobbs, Governor
January 27 – September 3, 1945
Captain Ralph Waldo Hungerford.jpg
Ralph Hungerford, Governor
September 3–10, 1945
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Samuel Canan, acting Governor
September 10, 1945 – April 22, 1947
Harold Houser grave.jpg
Harold Houser, Governor
April 22, 1947 – June 15, 1949
Vernon Huber.jpg
Vernon Huber, Governor
July 7, 1949 – February 23, 1951
Thomas Darden.jpg
Thomas Darden, Governor

Civilian governors (1951–1978)

Governor Took office Left office Party
Phelps Phelps.jpg
  Phelps Phelps
(1897–1981)
February 23, 1951 June 20, 1952 Republican
John Elliott.jpg
  John C. Elliott
(1919–2001)
July 16, 1952 November 23, 1952 Democratic
No image.png
  James Arthur Ewing
(born 1916)
November 28, 1952 March 4, 1953 Democratic
Lawrence M. Judd (PP-74-3-007).jpg
  Lawrence M. Judd
(1887–1968)
March 4, 1953 August 5, 1953 Republican
Richard Barrett Lowe.jpg
  Richard Barrett Lowe
(1902–1972)
August 5, 1953 October 15, 1956 Republican
Peter Tali Coleman.jpg
  Peter Tali Coleman
(1919–1997)
October 13, 1956 May 24, 1961 Republican
Hyrum Rex Lee.jpg
  H. Rex Lee
(1910–2001)
May 24, 1961 July 31, 1967 Democratic
Owen Aspinall.jpg
  Owen Aspinall
(1927–1997)
August 1, 1967 July 31, 1969 Democratic
No image.png
  John Morse Haydon
(1920–1991)
August 1, 1969 October 14, 1974 Republican
No image.png
  Frank Mockler
(1909–1993)
(acting)
October 14, 1974 February 6, 1975 Republican
Earl B. Ruth.jpg
  Earl B. Ruth
(1916–1989)
February 6, 1975 September 30, 1976 Republican
No image.png
  Frank Barnett
(1933–2016)
October 1, 1976 May 27, 1977 Republican
Hyrum Rex Lee.jpg
  H. Rex Lee
(1910–2001)
May 28, 1977 January 3, 1978 Democratic

Elected governors (1978–present)

Governor Took office Left office Party Elected Lieutenant Governor
51
Peter Tali Coleman.jpg
Peter Tali Coleman
(1919–1997)
January 3, 1978

January 3, 1985
Republican 1977
1980
Tufele Liamatua
52
AP Lutali.jpg
  A. P. Lutali
(1919–2002)
January 3, 1985

January 2, 1989
Democratic 1984 Eni Faleomavaega
53
Peter Tali Coleman.jpg
Peter Tali Coleman
(1919–1997)
January 2, 1989

January 3, 1993
Republican 1988 Galea'i Peni Poumele
  Gaioi Tufele Galeai
54
AP Lutali.jpg
A. P. Lutali
(1919–2002)
January 3, 1993

January 3, 1997
Democratic 1992 Tauese Sunia
55
GovSunia.jpg
Tauese Sunia
(1941–2003)
January 3, 1997

March 26, 2003
Democratic 1996
2000
Togiola Tulafono
Togiola Tulafono.jpg
Togiola Tulafono
(born 1947)
March 26, 2003

April 7, 2003
Democratic 2004
2008
Vacant
56 April 7, 2003

January 3, 2013
  Faoa Aitofele Sunia
57
Lolo Moliga by James Kneubuhl.jpg
Lolo Matalasi Moliga
(born 1947)
January 3, 2013

January 3, 2021
Independent 2012
2016
Lemanu Peleti Mauga
Democratic
58
Lemanu Peleti Mauga (cropped).png
  Lemanu Peleti Mauga
(born 1949)
January 3, 2021

Incumbent
Democratic 2020 Eleasalo Ale

Succession

Living former governors

There are two living former governor of American Samoa. The most recent governor to die was Frank Barnett (served 1976–1977), on July 15, 2016.[4] The most recently serving governor to die was Tauese Sunia (served 1997–2003), who died in office on March 26, 2003.

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Togiola Tulafono 2003–2013 (1947-02-28) February 28, 1947 (age 74)
Lolo Matalasi Moliga 2013–2021 (1947-08-12) August 12, 1947 (age 73)

Latest election

American Samoa gubernatorial general election préliminary results, 2020[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Lemanu Peleti Mauga
Eleasalo Ale
7,154 60.3%
Nonpartisan Gaoteote Palaie Tofau
Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet
2,594 21.9%
Nonpartisan Iʻaulualo Faʻafetai Talia
Tapaʻau Dr. Dan Mageo Aga
1,461 12.3%
Nonpartisan Nuanuaolefeagaiga Saoluaga T. Nua
Tapumanaia Galu Satele Jr.
652 5.5%
Total votes 11,861 100.00

References

  1. ^ Sunia, Fofō I. F. (1998). The Story of the Legislature of American Samoa: In Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee 1948-1998. Pago Pago, AS: Legislature of American Samoa. Pages 236-237. ISBN 9789829008015.
  2. ^ “GOVERNOR IS ELECTED IN AMERICAN SAMOA: Peter Coleman Is the First to Be Picked by Ballot - Leaders Were Named By U.S. for 77 Years.” New York Times (Nov. 24, 1977). Page 38.
  3. ^ Sunia, Fofō I. F. (1998). The Story of the Legislature of American Samoa: In Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee 1948-1998. Pago Pago, AS: Legislature of American Samoa. Page 271. ISBN 9789829008015.
  4. ^ "Frank Barnett, former governor of American Samoa, dies". www.knoxnews.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  5. ^ "Unofficial results have Lemanu & Talauega winning 60+% of vote". Samoa News. November 4, 2020.
This page was last edited on 30 April 2021, at 19:56
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