Togiola Talalelei A. Tulafono (born February 28, 1947) is the Governor of American Samoa. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He had previously served as Lieutenant Governor, taking this position on January 3, 1997. Tulafono was Lieutenant Governor when, on March 26, 2003, Governor Tauese Pita Fiti Sunia died. He then became Acting Governor, and officially became Governor on April 7, 2003. He was reelected to a full 4-year term in the November 2004 gubernatorial election.
Togiola T.A. Tulafono was born on February 28, 1947, in Aunu'u Island, American Samoa. Tulafono was educated in Samoa, attending elementary school in Autu'u and Samoana High School. He attended Chadron State College in the United States, where he earned bachelor's degrees in both political science and sociology in 1970. He received a doctor of laws degree from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas, in 1975.
He has served as a deacon of the Congregational Christian Church in Sa’ilele, American Samoa, for over 25 years.
Governor of American Samoa
Tulafono was sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa under Governor Tauese Sunia on January 3, 1997, He remained lieutenant governor until Sunia's sudden death from a heart attack on March 26, 2003. Tulafono became acting governor until he was formally swown into office as Governor of American Samoa on April 7, 2003. Tulafono endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton for President of the United States during the 2008 presidential primaries and the American Samoa Democratic caucuses, 2008 and became the national co-chair of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary.
2008 Gubernatorial election
Governor Togiola Tulafono and Lieutenant Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia announced their joint reelection campaign on May 10, 2008, at the Tradewinds Hotel in Tafuna. The 2008 American Samoa gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2008. Governor Tulafono and Lieutenant Governor Sunia received 41.1% of the vote, challengers Utu Abe Malae and Nua Mailo Saoluaga received 31.4%, and Afoa Leulumoega Lutu and Ve lega Savali received 26.8 percent. Because no candidate exceeded 50% of the vote, a runoff election was held between the top two candidates in mid-November, which Tulafono won.