Hawaii and Its Dozens of Governors So Far


Hawaii is an American state, but it has not always been part of the United States. In 1898, Hawaii annexed to U.S., but it was until 1959 when this tropical territory became an American state. Although in 1898, it was governed by a territorial governor chosen by the U.S. President. Before 1959, Hawaii was ruled by twelve territorial governors that were tasked to maintain law and order situations there. Hawaii was the last territory to be accepted as a U.S. state; Alaska was admitted to the United States a few months before.

Its first governor was Stanford B. Dole who previously was President of Hawaii until HI became an American territory. He ruled from 1900 to 1903 and was appointed by William McKinley. The next territorial governor was George R. Carter followed by Walter F. Frear. Both were appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt. The next governors were Lucius E. Pinkham and Charles J. McCarthy who were chosen by Woodrow Wilson. Other governors who ruled the territory were Wallace R. Farrington, Lawrence M. Judd and Joseph Poindexter with William F. Quinn being the last governor. He was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

William F. Quinn who was the governor of the territory of Hawaii became the first governor of the State of Hawaii in 1959. He was replaced by the elected Democratic governor John A. Burns. He ruled the state from 1962 to 1974. He and George Ariyoshi were the only politicians who ruled Hawaii for three four-year terms. The person who took his place was Democrat George Ariyoshi. He was the first Asian American individual to govern the State of Hawaii. Just as his predecessor, George Ariyoshi also governed for three four-year terms and ruled Hawaii from 1974 to 1986. The Democratic politician John D. Waihee III became the fourth governor of the State of Hawaii, unlike John A. Burns and George Ariyoshi, John D. Waihee III was only re-elected one time because Hawaiian legislation was changed. His governing term went from 1986 to 1994. In 1994, Democratic politician Ben Cayetano was voted by Hawaiian population as their governor. His term in office went from 1994 to 2002. He was replaced by the first woman to govern Hawaii. Her name is Linda Linge. She is a Republican politician and was elected by Hawaiian citizens in 2002. She governed the state from 2002 to 2010. In 2010, she left her political office and was replaced by Democrat Neil Abercrombie. He is the acting governor of the State of Hawaii. Elections will take place in 2014, and governor Abercrombie has a good chance of winning the elections again. Since HI was admitted to the Union, almost all its governors have been re-elected.

The duties of a Hawaiian governor are similar to that required from any state governor. They have to ensure the security of the state from external threats because each governor is the commander-in-chief of the military troops established in his/her state’s territory. Another important task that should be done is to maintain security in the state through the State Police. A governor also has the obligation to enact laws that ensure the welfare of his citizens. He/she has the authority in hand either to approve or reject any law passed by the State Congress as well. A governor is able to grant pardon to any person convicted in his/her state. Besides, he/ she can ask for the federal government’s help. This happens when a natural disaster or any situation that imperils its citizens’ lives occurs in the state. It is very important to mention here that all the state governors, as well as the U.S. President, are elected by American voters.

As stated before, nowadays, Hawaii is governed by Neil Abercrombie. Although this individual was born in Buffalo, New York, his political career is based on the State of Hawaii. Through long political campaigns, Neil Abercrombie won the trust of Hawaiian voters. His successful campaign made him a congressman that represented the State of Hawaii for many years. This person has been involved in HI political decisions because he also worked as a member of the Honolulu City Council.  Then, he decided that ruling asthe governor of Hawaii was a good idea. In 2010, all that effort made him win the title ofthe governor of the State of Hawaii.

Neil Abercrombie has done some interesting things while governing HI. First of all, he ended up with all the investigations linked to President Obama’s birth certificate. This decision was very criticized by Republican politicians while Democratic politicians considered that it was an accurate decision. Democratic congressmen also acclaimed governor Abercrombie’s decision of legalizing civil unions. That law was previously enacted and approved by Democratic governors. Later on, Republican Linda Linge became Hawaii’s governor and vetoed that law because she believed they did not protect the American citizens’ interests. He also chose the replacement of Senator Daniel Inouye who died when he was serving as a senator in D.C.

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