LOS ANGELES – Democrat David Ige, a third-generation Japanese-American, won the gubernatorial election in Hawaii on Tuesday, beating Republican Duke Aiona and other candidates, according to U.S. media reports.
The 57-year-old state senator will be the second Hawaii governor of Japanese descent, following George Ariyoshi, who served three four-year terms from 1974 in the island state where many Japanese-Americans live. Ige will assume the governorship on Dec. 1.
Ige won the election with the support of Japanese-American communities and his favorable public image, according to the media reports.
Hawaii’s election authorities said Ige won about 49 percent of the votes, while 59-year-old Aiona, a former lieutenant governor, received around 36.5 percent in the gubernatorial race held together with the U.S. midterm elections.
According to local media, Ige’s paternal grandparents were born in Okinawa. Ige was born in Hawaii.