American Samoa election results certified, Palepoi elected governor

by Nov 28, 2020American Samoa, Elections0 comments

On November 12, election results in American Samoa were certified. Races for governor, lieutenant governor, delegate to the United States Congress, and 20 elected seats for the local House of Representatives were officially called following the mandated 7-day waiting period. 

The governor-elect and lieutenant governor-elect, Lemanu Palepoi Mauga, and Talauega Eleasalo Va’alele Ale, respectively, received more than 50% of the vote, eliminating a need for a run-off election, and allowing them to win the election outright on election night. The now-certified results show that the pair received 60.3% of the vote, with the nearest challengers having received only 21.9%. The newly elected leaders will take their oaths of office on January 3, 2021, for a four-year term. The current incumbent, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga (D) has reached the end of his third term, which is the maximum number of terms one can seek under the law. 

The congressional race also resulted in a victory by a large margin. Delegate Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R) received 83.3% of the vote, an overwhelming win that sends her back to Washington D.C. for the fourth consecutive time. The Coronavirus pandemic has prevented her from traveling back to the United States, as flights on Hawaiian Airlines remain suspended. The continuation of this delay may prevent her from being present at the January swearing-in of the new Congress. 

There were no complaints filed during the 7-day period, with the exception of a “Challenge for Recount” in a race for the local House of Representatives. This challenge did not change the results of the election in Manu’a #1, a district that contains two seats. One will go to the incumbent, Fetui F. Fetui Jr., who received 358 votes, while the other will go to Alumamalu Ale S. Filoiali’i, who defeated the other incumbent, Vesi Talalelei Fautanu Jr. The second and third-place finishers were separated by only one vote, thus the challenge. Members of the local House of Representatives will also be sworn in on January 3, 2021.