2012 American Samoa gubernatorial election
The 2012 American Samoa gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 2012, for the open gubernatorial seat of American Samoa. The election coincides with the larger United States presidential elections, United States general elections and the American Samoa general election. Since no candidate received a majority of the vote on November 6, a runoff election was held on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, which was won by Independent candidate Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga.
The incumbent, Governor Togiola Tulafono, who had held office since 2003, is term-limited and could not seek re-election. Tulafono, who took office after the death of former governor Tauese Sunia, was elected to his first four-year term in 2004 and re-elected in the 2008 gubernatorial election.
All elections and candidates in American Samoa are nonpartisan, though Faoa Aitofele Sunia is affiliated with the Democratic Party. Slightly less than 17,000 American Samoans were eligible to vote in the 2012 election.
Six candidates ran for the office of Governor of American Samoa.
- Salu Hunkin-Finau, educator and former president of the American Samoa Community College; only female candidate for governor
- Timothy Jones, engineer
- Afoa Moega Lutu, High Chief of Utulei, former Attorney General, and candidate for governor in 2008, affiliated with the Republican Party
- Running mate: Le'i Sonny Thompson, director of the Department of Administrative Services
- Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga, president of the Development Bank of American Samoa
- Faoa Aitofele Sunia, Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa since 2003, affiliated with the Democratic Party
- Save Liuato Afa Tuitele, former judge of the High Court of American Samoa
- Utu Abe Malae, director of the Northern Marianas Commonwealth Utility Corporation and second placed candidate in 2008 gubernatorial election; announced candidacy on August 15, 2011, withdrew on October 10, 2011. He is affiliated with the Libertarian Party.
The gubernatorial ticket of Save Liuato Tuitele and Sandra King Young filed a petition in September 2012 against four other campaigns questioning their eligibility to run in the election. Tuitele and Young argued that the other four candidates had not resigned from their government jobs before beginning their political campaigns, as required by law. The four candidates challenged by the Tuitele campaign were gubernatorial candidates Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga and Salu Hunkin-Finau, as well as lieutenant governor candidates Taufete'e Faumuina Jr. and Le'i Sonny Thompson.
|Independent||Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga||4,372||33.5|
|Democratic||Faoa Aitofele Sunia||4,315||33.1|
|Republican||Afoa Moega Lutu||2,521||19.3|
|Independent||Save Liuato Tuitele||763||5.8|
Due to no candidate receiving more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election was held.
|Independent||Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga||6,645||52.9|
|Democratic||Faoa Aitofele Sunia||5,908||47.1|
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- Salu Hunkin-Finau and Iuniasolua Savusa campaign
- Tim Jones and Tuika Tuika campaign
- Afoa Moega Lutu and Le'i Sonny Thompson campaign
- Lolo Moliga and Lemanu Mauga campaign
- Faoa Aitofele Sunia and Taufete'e John Faumuina campaign
- Save Liuato Tuitele and Sandra King Young campaign
- RNZI: Gubernatorial race in American Samoa has no clear winner
- Samoa News: LOLO-LEMANU VS FAOA-TAUFETE’E IN THE GUBERNATORIAL RUN OFF, NOV. 20
- American Samoa's House of Representatives has new members