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List of governors of American Samoa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seal of American Samoa.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
American Samoa

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 1977 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 T. 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 M. 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 M. 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 1977 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]

Commandant governors (1900–1905)

Term Image Incumbent Notes
17 February 1900 — 27 November 1901
BenjaminFranklinTilley.jpg
Benjamin Franklin Tilley, Commandant 17 April 1900: Treaty of Cession of Tutuila
27 November 1901 — 16 December 1902
Uriel Sebree.jpg
Uriel Sebree, Commandant
16 December 1902 — 5 May 1903
Henry Minett 1877.jpg
Henry Minett, acting Commandant
5 May 1903 — 30 January 1905
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Edmund Beardsley Underwood, Commandant/Governor 16 July 1904: Treaty of Cession of Manu'a

Naval governors (1905–1951)

Term Image Incumbent Notes
30 January 1905 — 21 May 1908
Charles Brainard Taylor Moore.png
Charles Brainard Taylor Moore, Governor
21 May 1908 — 10 November 1910
Seal of American Samoa.svg
John Frederick Parker, Governor
10 November 1910 — 14 March 1913
William Michael Crose.jpg
William Michael Crose, Governor 17 July 1911: U.S. Naval Station Tutuila renamed American Samoa
14 March 1913 — 14 July 1913
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Nathan Woodworth Post, acting Governor 1st Term
14 July 1913 — 2 October 1914
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Clark Daniel Stearns, Governor
2 October 1914 — 6 December 1914
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Nathan Woodworth Post, acting Governor 2nd Term
6 December 1914 — 1 March 1915
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Charles Armijo Woodruff, acting Governor
1 March 1915 — 10 June 1919
John Martin Poyer.jpg
John Martin Poyer, Governor
10 June 1919 — 3 November 1920
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Warren Jay Terhune, Governor
11 November 1920 — 1 March 1922
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Waldo A. Evans, Governor
1 March 1922 — 4 September 1923
EdwinTaylorPollock.jpg
Edwin Taylor Pollock, Governor
4 September 1923 — 17 March 1925
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Edward Stanley Kellogg, Governor
17 March 1925 — 9 September 1927
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Henry Francis Bryan, Governor
9 September 1927 — 2 August 1929
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Stephen Victor Graham, Governor 20 February 1929: U.S. Congress recognition of the cession of Tutuila and Manu'a by their chiefs, with retrospective to 16 July 1904
2 August 1929 — 24 March 1931
Gatewood Sanders Lincoln.PNG
Gatewood Sanders Lincoln, Governor 1st Term
24 March 1931 — 22 April 1931
James S. Spore.jpg
James Sutherland Spore, acting Governor
22 April 1931 — 17 July 1931
Arthur Tenney Emerson.png
Arthur Tenney Emerson, acting Governor
17 July 1931 — 12 May 1932
Gatewood Sanders Lincoln.PNG
Gatewood Sanders Lincoln, Governor 2nd Term
12 May 1932 — 10 April 1934
George Landenberger 1932.jpg
George Bertram Landenberger, Governor
10 April 1934 — 17 April 1934
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Thomas C. Latimore, acting Governor
17 April 1934 — 15 January 1936
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Otto Carl Dowling, Governor
15 January 1936 — 20 January 1936
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Thomas Benjamin Fitzpatrick, acting Governor
20 January 1936 — 3 June 1938
MacGillivray Milne head.jpg
MacGillivray Milne, Governor
26 June 1938 — 30 July 1940
Edward W. Hanson.jpg
Edward William Hanson, Governor
30 July 1940 — 8 August 1940
Jesse Wallace.jpg
Jesse R. Wallace, acting Governor
8 August 1940 — 5 June 1942
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Laurence Wild, Governor
17 January 1942 — 25 April 1942
Henry Louis Larsen, USMC.jpg
Henry Louis Larsen, Military Governor
5 June 1942 — 8 February 1944
Seal of American Samoa.svg
John Gould Moyer, Governor
8 February 1944 — 27 January 1945
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Allen Hobbs, Governor
27 January 1945 — 3 September 1945
Captain Ralph Waldo Hungerford.jpg
Ralph Waldo Hungerford, Governor
3 September 1945 — 10 September 1945
Seal of American Samoa.svg
Samuel Canan, acting Governor
10 September 1945 — 22 April 1947
Harold Houser grave.jpg
Harold Houser, Governor
22 April 1947 — 15 June 1949
Vernon Huber.jpg
Vernon Huber, Governor
7 July 1949 — 23 February 1951
Thomas Darden.jpg
Thomas Francis Darden, Jr., Governor

Appointed governors (1951–1978)

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

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 1949)
January 3, 2013

Incumbent
Independent 2012
2016
Lemanu Peleti Mauga
Democratic

Succession

Living former governors

There is one living former governor of American Samoa. The most recent-serving governor to die was Frank Barnett (1976–1977), on July 15, 2016.[4]

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Togiola Tulafono 2003–2013 (1947-02-28) February 28, 1947 (age 72)

Latest election

Election results, Governor of American Samoa, November 6, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Independent Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga 4,372 33.5
Democratic Faoa Aitofele Sunia 4,315 33.1
Independent Afoa Moega Lutu 2,521 19.3
Independent Salu Hunkin-Finau 893 6.8
Independent Save Liuato Tuitele 763 5.8
Independent Timothy Jones 189 1.4
Total votes 13,053 100

Due to no candidate receiving more than 50% of the vote a runoff election was held.

Runoff election results, Governor of American Samoa, November 20, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Independent Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga 6,645 52.9
Democratic Faoa Aitofele Sunia 5,908 47.1
Total votes 12,553 100

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.
This page was last edited on 9 February 2020, at 17:35
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