None of the gubernatorial candidates in the election held on November 6, 2012 had the 50% + 1 majority needed to win the race for the governor's office. The American Samoa constitution mandates a run-off election to be held soon after the main election, and it looks like the non-run-off candidates have been busy realigning themselves to endorse their choice for the run-off.
Team Lolo and Lemanu's campaign just posted the attached photo of the non-incumbent candidates' coalition for a Movement for Change. Together the candidates combined electoral take in the election was 61% of the votes. Pictured here with Lolo & Lemanu are Afoa & Le'i, Dr. Salu & Savusa, and Tim Jones & Tuika. If their supporters follow their candidates' endorsement of the Lolo and Lemanu ticket, this could be the momentum maker that sweeps change into the government. The Movement for Change becomes renamed the United Movement for Change with the addition of the endorsement of the other, minority, candidates, forming a coalition for a clear majority.
Each of the minority candidate teams ran on platforms to oppose corruption and to clean up government operations and restore services that have long been underfunded or mismanaged. A resident or visitor need only look at the state of our public roads to see the effects of poor public policy on our islands' infrastructure. Rising costs of living, outrageous energy costs, and a declining economy are all also equally important issues at stake in this election. Given some of the rhetoric during this past campaign season it is good to see the minority candidates choosing to stand by their desire for change.
It is important to note here that Faoa Aitofele Sunia, the current Lt. Governor, although referred to as the incumbent, is not responsible for public policies, or for setting government priorities. He is the incumbent only in the sense that he is a member of the current administration. As Lt. Governor, Faoa Sunia, was the deputy executive for the Office of the Governor in times when the governor was unavailable to be present to execute his duties. However, in 2009 and 2010 Faoa Sunia was tried in a Federal court on various charges of corruption and conspiracy regarding contracts in which a companies owned by him and one other government official were implicated of wrongdoing. A hung jury (11 to 1 for acquittal) resulted in a mistrial and the Federal prosecutors office chose not to refile charges.
The runoff election looks to be held on November 20, 2012.
From Lolo & Lemanu's Facebook page, an invitation.
"Tomorrow Tuesday, 13th Nov. 2012 All supporters of Lolo and Lemanu's UNITED Movement for CHANGE are more than welcome and are encourage to attend. @ Matu'u @ 5pm. thanks."
From the election results, Nov. 6, 2012.