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Hawaii: Government, Politics, and Higher Education

Hawaii's constitution was drafted in 1950 and became effective with statehood in 1959. The governor is elected every four years. The legislature has a senate with 25 members and a house of representatives with 51 members. The state elects two representatives and two senators to the U.S. Congress and has four electoral votes. Multicultural Hawaii has long been a Democratic state, but Republicans have made recent gains. In 1994, Democrat Benjamin J. Cayetano became the first Filipino American to be elected governor of a U.S. state; he was reelected in 1998. Linda Lingle, elected governor in 2002, became the second Republican to win the office since statehood, and she was reelected four years later. In 2010 a Democrat, Neil Abercrombie, was elected governor, and in 2014 Democrat David Ige was elected.

Hawaii's institutions of higher learning include the Univ. of Hawaii, with campuses at Honolulu, Hilo, and Pearl City; Chaminade Univ. and Hawaii Pacific Univ., at Honolulu; and the Hawaii campus of Brigham Young Univ., at Laie, Oahu.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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