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American Samoa gubernatorial election, 2008

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Title: American Samoa gubernatorial election, 2008  
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Subject: American Samoa gubernatorial election, 2012, United States gubernatorial elections, 2008, American Samoan general election, 2008, American Samoan general election, 2004, American Samoan general election, 2010
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American Samoa gubernatorial election, 2008

American Samoa gubernatorial election, 2008

November 4 and 18, 2008

Nominee Togiola Tulafono Utu Abe Malae
Party Democratic Independent
Popular vote 6,590 5,084
Percentage 56.45% 43.55%

Governor before election

Togiola Tulafono

Elected Governor

Togiola Tulafono

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

The 2008 American Samoa gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2008,[1] coinciding with the 2008 United States general elections and the American Samoa general election. Because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election between the top two candidates was held on November 18, 2008, which Togiola Tulafono won.[2] All elections in American Samoa are officially non-partisan, but Tulafono and Sunia identify with the Democratic Party.[3]


Incumbent Governor Togiola Tulafono and Lieutenant Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia announced their intent to seek re-election on May 10, 2008.[4] They are being challenged by three nonpartisan team tickets. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are elected under the same ticket. All elections in American Samoa are nonpartisan.

Election background

Governor Togiola Tulafono and Lieutenant Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia announced their intent to seek re-election on May 10, 2008.[4] Their formal announcement, which Tulafono called "the worst kept secret of this season," took place before a crowd of approximately three hundred supporters at the Tradewinds Hotel in Tafuna.[4]

Afoa Moega Lutu formally announced his own candidacy for Governor of American Samoa at a campaign rally at the same Tradewinds Hotel on May 17, 2008.[8] The rally consisted of about seven hundred Lutu supporters.[8] Lutu promised to tackle a number of issues if elected Governor, including corruption, rising food and energy prices and the economy.[8]

Utu Abe Malae and his running mate, Nua Mailo Saoluaga, formally announced their candidacy on June 10, 2008, at a gathering at the Maliu Mai Beach Resort in Pago Pago.[9]

This is not the first time that Tulafono and Lutu faced each other in a gubernatorial election. Tulafono defeated Lutu in the 2004 gubernatorial runoff election with 56 percent of the total vote to Lutu's 44 percent.[8] Lutu also fell short in his bids for Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa in the 1996 and 2000 elections, losing both times to Tulafono.[5]

The President of the American Samoa Senate, Lolo Moliga, also originally announced his intention to run for governor as well. However, Lolo withdrew from the race on June 13, 2008, just two months into his campaign, citing existing commitments to his extended family clan.[10] He also noted the need to prevent divisiveness within the families of the Manu'a islands, where many of the gubernatorial and Lt. governor candidates have ancestral ties.[10]

Four of the 2008 candidates for governor or lieutenant governor in the 2008 election either were from or had ancestral ties to the Manu'a Islands.[10] Those with Manu'a ancestry are incumbent Lt. Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia, lieutenant governor candidate Velega Savali, and both members of the gubernatorial team of Utu Abe Malae and his running mate, Nua Mailo Saoluaga.[10]

The deadline to register as a candidate for Governor in the current election was September 1, 2008, at 4:30 P.M.[10] An official list of the four teams was released by the election office the following day.[11]


American Samoa gubernatorial election, 2008[12][13]
Candidate Running mate First round Second round
Votes Percentage Votes Percentage
Togiola Tulafono (incumbent) Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia (inc.) 5,117 41.24% 6,590 56.45%
Utu Abe Malae Nua Mailo Saoluaga 3,881 31.28% 5,084 43.55%
Afoa Moega Lutu Velega Savali 3,347 26.97%
Tuika Tuika Tee Masaniai 63 0.51%
Invalid or blank votes
Totals 12,408 100.00% 11,674 100.00%
Voter turnout


  1. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-09-02). "Official list for General Election 2008 released".  
  2. ^ "Absentee voting in American Samoa run-off election underway".  
  3. ^ "American Samoa 2008 General Election". The Green Papers. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  4. ^ a b c Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-05-11). "Togiola, Ipulasi Announce Re-election Bid".  
  5. ^ a b "People Briefs".  
  6. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-06-01). "Development Bank President Resigns Ahead Of Possible Gubernatorial Race".  
  7. ^ a b c "Gov candidates split on how the Delegate serves".  
  8. ^ a b c d Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-05-20). "'"Afoa Criticizes Government's 'Damaged Reputation.  
  9. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-06-10). "Utu Abe Malae Officially Declares Run For Governor".  
  10. ^ a b c d e Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-06-13). "Senate President Lolo Moliga Withdraws From Gubernatorial Race".  
  11. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-09-02). "Official list for General Election 2008 released".  
  12. ^ "UNOFFICIAL RESULTS GENERAL ELECTION 2008: GOVERNOR & LT. GOVERNOR NOVEMBER 4, 2008". American Samoa Government Election Office. Archived from the original on 26 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  13. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-11-19). "American Samoa Gov. Togiola Cruises To Re-Election Victory". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 

External links

  • Pacific Magazine: Faleomavaega Cruises To Re-Election; Run-Off In Governor's Race
  • Pacific Magazine: Voting Gets Underway In American Samoa Special Election 13 November 2008
  • American Samoa Election Office
  • Pacific Magazine: 17,000 Registered Voters Ready For The Polls In American Samoa
  • Official campaign websites
    • Afoa and Velega for Governor and Lt. Governor, Nonpartisan candidates
      • Afoa and Velega Official Myspace page
      • Afoa and Velega Official Bebo page
    • Utu Abe Malae and Nua Mailo Saoluaga for Governor and Lt. Governor, Nonpartisan candidate
    • Re-elect Togiola Tulafono for Governor 2008, Democratic candidate
  • Samoa News political advertisement for Tukia for Governor, Nonpartisan candidates
  • Office of the Governor of American Samoa
    • Biography of Governor Togiola Tulafono, Democratic candidate
    • Biography of Lt. Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia, Democratic candidate
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