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Linda Lingle

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Linda Lingle

Linda Lingle
Chief Operating Officer of Illinois
Assumed office
January 22, 2015 (appointed)
Governor Bruce Rauner
6th Governor of Hawaii
In office
December 2, 2002 – December 6, 2010
Lieutenant Duke Aiona
Preceded by Ben Cayetano
Succeeded by Neil Abercrombie
Mayor of Maui
In office
January 2, 1991 – January 2, 1999
Preceded by Hannibal Tavares
Succeeded by James Apana
Personal details
Born Linda Cutter
(1953-06-04) June 4, 1953
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Charles Lingle (1972–1975; divorced)
William Crockett (1986–1997; divorced)
Alma mater California State University, Northridge
Religion Judaism

Linda Lingle (born Linda Cutter; June 4, 1953) is an American politician, who was the sixth Governor of Hawaii from 2002 until 2010. She was the first Republican elected governor of Hawaii since the departure of William F. Quinn in 1962. Lingle was also the first female governor of Hawaii; first Jewish governor of Hawaii; first county mayor elected governor of Hawaii; and the first governor of Hawaii not to have any children. Prior to her gubernatorial administration, Lingle served as Maui County mayor, council member, and chair of the Hawaii Republican Party.

During the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, Lingle served as chairwoman of the convention during the absence of permanent chairman Dennis Hastert from the convention floor. She was the 2012 Republican nominee for the United States Senate, vying unsuccessfully for an open seat vacated by retiring U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka.[1][2]

In January 2015, Lingle was appointed as a senior adviser to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.[3]


  • Early life, education, and early career 1
  • County politics 2
  • 1998 gubernatorial campaign 3
  • State party chair 4
  • Governor of Hawaii 5
    • 2002 gubernatorial campaign 5.1
    • First term 5.2
    • 2006 gubernatorial election 5.3
    • Second term 5.4
  • 2012 U.S. Senate election 6
  • After 2012 7
  • Personal life 8
  • Electoral history 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

Early life, education, and early career

Lingle was born Linda Cutter to a Jewish family[4] in St. Louis, Missouri in 1953, the daughter of Mildred and Richard Cutter.[5] Lingle moved with her parents to Southern California when she was 12. She graduated from Birmingham High School in Lake Balboa, California (at that time, part of Van Nuys), then received her bachelor's degree in journalism cum laude from California State University, Northridge, in 1975.

Soon after that, she followed her father to Hawaii, working first in Honolulu as a public information officer for the Teamsters and Hotel Workers Union. Later, she moved to Molokai, where she started the Molokai Free Press, a community newspaper.[6]

County politics

In 1980, Lingle was elected to the Maui County Council, where she served five two-year terms. Lingle served three of those terms representing Molokai and two terms as an at-large member. Upon the 1990 retirement of Hannibal Tavares as mayor of Maui County, Lingle decided to challenge former Maui mayor and Hawai'i State Speaker of the House of Representatives Elmer Cravalho for the seat. Despite polls showing Lingle trailing far behind her Democratic opponent, Lingle proved victorious. The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspapers declared the election one of the biggest upsets in Hawai'i political history. She became the youngest person elected to the office of Maui County Mayor, at the age of 37, as well as the first woman. She was sworn into office as Mayor of Maui on January 2, 1991.[7] In 1994, Lingle easily won re-election over her Democratic opponent, Maui County councilman Goro Hokama.[8]

Under Lingle's leadership, Maui County implemented performance-based budgeting.[9] Its successful passage and execution earned for Lingle the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for four years.[10] Mayor Lingle was also credited for attracting tourism and job growth to Maui County during a period when the state tourism industry was struggling.[11]

1998 gubernatorial campaign

Lingle would once again attempt an upset victory, this time in pursuit of the governor's office in 1998. Barred from seeking a third term as mayor of Maui, Lingle was nominated by the Hawaiʻi Republican Party to run against incumbent Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano. Republican party members believed that Lingle was the best shot at the office and that 1998 would probably be the only chance the party would have of ever winning. Lingle capitalized on the anger of Hawaiʻi residents over the stagnant economy and their dissatisfaction with the strategies employed by the Democrats in attempt to solve the problem. Cayetano trailed in the media polls heading into the November election but on the evening of the election, Cayetano and Lingle were separated by a single percentage point forcing a recount. Lingle was defeated in the closest election in Hawaiʻi history.[12]

The state Democratic Party was accused of launching a whisper campaign alleging that Lingle was a lesbian, and that she would abolish Christmas as a state holiday.[13] Previously, Governor Cayetano had given state workers all of Christmas Eve day off, and other local government leaders followed suit – except then-Maui County Mayor Lingle, who said it would be too costly.

State party chair

Linda Lingle smashes a bottle of champagne against the sail of the USS Hawaii (SSN-776) during the ship's christening ceremony.

After being defeated, Lingle was elected chair of the Hawaiʻi The Wish List, America's largest fundraising and campaign political action committee for Pro-choice Republican Women and The Republican Majority for Choice.

Governor of Hawaii

2002 gubernatorial campaign

Barred from seeking a third term, Cayetano announced his retirement from political service in 2002. Having become even more popular among Hawaii residents, Lingle was nominated as the Republican candidate for the office of Governor of Hawaii. Her campaign was substantially aided when the popular favorite, Democratic Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu Jeremy Harris withdrew after allegations of campaign finance irregularities. Hawaii Democrats then nominated incumbent Lieutenant Governor Mazie Hirono; it was one of the few gubernatorial races in which both major candidates were women.

Lingle ran on her "Agenda for New Beginnings," a campaign platform developed to promote Republican leadership and highlight their criticisms of the previous 40 years of Democratic administration of the state. It also cited differences between Lingle's message and the previous, more conservative platforms which Hawaii Republicans had advocated.

Focusing less on her mayoral accomplishments and more on the message of reform, Lingle won the election alongside former state judge Duke Aiona, who became Lingle's lieutenant governor.

Lingle was the first state Governor-elect not to be inaugurated at the Coronation Pavilion on the grounds of Iolani Palace. She was inaugurated in the rotunda of the Hawaii State Capitol. She took the oath of office upon a Tanakh.

First term

Lingle signed into law the Three Strikes Law and Sex Offender Registry Website Law.[14] She vetoed a bill that would have required all hospitals in Hawaii to provide emergency contraception to rape victims,[15] concerned that Catholic hospitals would challenge it.[16] In May 2004 Lingle led a delegation to Israel, paid for by the Israeli Government.[17][18] She enjoyed high approval ratings, usually around the 70 percent range.[19]

Lingle spent much of 2004 campaigning for Republican candidates, both in the Presidential election and the Hawaii state legislature. She supported President

Party political offices
Preceded by
Pat Saiki
Republican nominee for Governor of Hawaii
1998, 2002, 2006
Succeeded by
Duke Aiona
Preceded by
Cynthia Thielen
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Hawaii
(Class 1)

Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Ben Cayetano
Governor of Hawaii
Succeeded by
Neil Abercrombie
Preceded by
Hannibal Tavares
Mayor of Maui
Succeeded by
James Apana
  • "A Conversation with the Governor" Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine Vol.7 No.1 (April 2003).
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • "10 Most Intriguing People" Article about ten most important people in 2008 Maui politics. (Lingle is featured on page 6) Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine Vol. 12 No. 3 (May 2008).

External links

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  25. ^ a b Honolulu Advertiser. Lingle lauds 'truly authentic' Palin. Sept. 4, 2008.
  26. ^ Korab v. Koller, 2010 WL 4688824 (D. Haw Dec. 10, 2010) (“Defendants fail to show any particular State interest that is advanced by their decision to exclude COFA residents from the Old Programs. . . . [W]hile the court recognizes that BHH was created in response to the State's budget crisis, when applying strict scrutiny, the 'justification of limiting expenses is particularly inappropriate and unreasonable when the discriminated class consists of aliens'”). ; see also Judge Dismisses Hawaii’s Request for Dismissal of Suit against Basic Health Hawaii("Micronesian community representatives reported that elimination of medical benefits has impacted many, including 27 who have died since Sept. 1, 2009")
  27. ^ Korab v. Koller, Civ. No. 10-c00483-JMS-KSC (Jan. 10, 2011)
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  30. ^ The Associated Press. Parents Issued Citations at Hawaii Furlough Sit-In. April 10, 2010.
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See also

Hawaii Senate Election 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mazie Hirono 266,435 63
Republican Linda Lingle 159,002 37
Hawaii Gubernatorial Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Linda Lingle (incumbent) 215,313 63 +11
Democratic Randy Iwase 121,717 35
Hawaii Gubernatorial Election 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Linda Lingle 194,338 52
Democratic Mazie Hirono 177,186 47
Hawaii Gubernatorial Election 1998
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ben Cayetano (incumbent) 204,206 50
Republican Linda Lingle 198,952 49
Libertarian George Peabody 4,398 1

Electoral history

Lingle is active in the Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008.[37]

Her uncle founded the Cutter Ford car dealerships in Hawaiʻi.[36]

Lingle was married and divorced twice. She married her first husband, Charles Lingle, while in college, in 1972. Upon leaving California for Hawaii, she divorced him in 1975 but kept the Lingle name. During her term as mayor of Maui County, Lingle divorced her second husband, Maui attorney William Crockett, to whom she was married from 1986 to 1997. Lingle is currently single and does not have any children.

Personal life

In January 2015, Lingle was appointed as a senior adviser to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.[3] She is to join a trio of outsiders in May/June 2015 to work on problems such as the state's retirement system and low credit ratings.[35]

After her failed Senate bid, Lingle taught a public policy seminar at California State University, Northridge, where she had graduated in 1975. She also gave lectures and worked with the Governor's Council and Energy Security Council for the Bipartisan Policy Center.[35]

After 2012

Lingle was the first reasonably well-funded Republican to run for the Senate in Hawaii since Pat Saiki ran in the 1990 special election against Akaka, and the strongest Republican candidate for a full term in the Senate from the state in memory. Although a poll in the summer of 2012 showed the race as close as five points,[34] ultimately Hirono defeated Lingle with 63 percent of the vote to Lingle's 37 percent.

In October 2011, Lingle said on KSSK radio show that she would run for the open seat vacated by retiring U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI).[1][2] She won the Republican primary election on August 11, 2012 against nominal opposition and faced Hirono in the general election – a repeat of the 2002 gubernatorial race.[33]

2012 U.S. Senate election

Lingle on July 6, 2010 vetoed Hawaii House Bill 444, which would have allowed for civil unions for couples in Hawaii, arguing the issue should be decided by referendum.[31] The bill had passed the State House with three votes less than the two-thirds vote threshold necessary to override the veto, although the bill met that threshold in the State Senate.[32]

Civil union veto

On April 13, 2010, two student protesters who were occupying her office were arrested and criminal trespassing citations were issued to eight others.[28][29] The demonstrators were part of a sit-in to protest a school furlough policy implemented due to budget shortages.[30] The following day, April 14, two more protesters were arrested and citations were issued to five other protesters.[29]

School furlough sit-in

In July 2009, the Lingle Administration ended the Hawaiʻi Immigrant Health Initiative, a state program providing medical coverage for legal immigrants present in the United States for fewer than five years. This move included the elimination of all residents present in Hawaiʻi under the Compact of Free Association from QUEST, the state’s Medicaid coverage plan that assists the low income population in Hawaiʻi with their health care needs. Noting that such a policy likely constituted unlawful discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, federal district court judge John Michael Seabright issued a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the substituted health care plan.[26] Subsequent Governor Neil Abercrombie indicated that he may continue the State's appeal of the injunction to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.[27]

Health care policies targeting legal immigrants and Compact of Free Association residents

As she had four years before, Lingle campaigned for the Republican ticket, describing herself as "of the same breed as McCain and Palin."[24] She received national exposure when she delivered a primetime address on the third night of the 2008 Republican National Convention praising John McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running-mate.[25] Lingle and Palin, both Republican women governors of non-contiguous states, are friends who grew acquainted through the Republican Governors Association.[25] Lingle's speech filled the role of the traditional address formally nominating the vice-presidential candidate, though Palin was not officially nominated until the next night.

2008 Republican Convention

In August 2007, the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidated a Lingle appointee's exemption of the Hawaii Superferry from having to undertake an environmental assessment before operating in Hawaii waters. The Superferry was an $80 million high-speed ferry. Despite the Court's ruling, the ferry sailed to Kauai without an environmental assessment. It was met by protesters on surfboards who turned the ferry back to Oahu. Lingle summoned a massive police and Coast Guard response. She told Kauai protesters that they would be charged under Hawaii's anti-terrorism laws if they continued to interfere with the Superferry's operation.[22] Lingle sought a legislative exemption from environmental law on behalf of the Superferry (known as Act Two). Several Maui groups, including the Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and the Kahului Harbor Coalition challenged the law as unconstitutional, citing a violation of separation of powers, and favoritism towards a single company. The ferry suspended all Hawaii service in March 2009, days after the Hawaii Supreme Court struck down Act Two as unconstitutional.[22][23]

Second term

In 2006, Lingle announced her candidacy for re-election as Governor of Hawaiʻi. In the Democratic Party, many people were speculated to run, but many of them declined, including State Senator Colleen Hanabusa, then Senate President Bobby Bunda, former Congressman Ed Case (who ran for U.S. Senate), U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie, and Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim. Despite the difficulty of finding an opponent for Lingle, former State Senator Randy Iwase decided to run for Governor. In the primary election he easily defeated Waianae Harbormaster William Aila Jr., and ended up with former Big Island State Senator Malama Solomon as his running mate. Over the course of the campaign, Iwase was considered an underdog who had only spent $340,000, compared to Lingle's $6 million; in his ads, he attacked Lingle over her relationship with President Bush. Governor Lingle won by the largest margin in state history, 63 percent to 35 percent.

2006 gubernatorial election

In education, she attempted to divide the State Board of Education into seven local school boards, but failed. One of the more controversial issues Lingle has championed is the practice of sending prisoners to the mainland, as opposed to building a new prison in Hawaii.[21]

also campaigned in the state. The state legislature had a Democratic supermajority and she wanted to have enough members to block them from overriding her vetoes. Ultimately, not only did Kerry win the state, but Republicans lost five seats in the state legislature, reducing their presence to near single-digits and causing the Democrats to consider Lingle more vulnerable than they initially expected. In spite of their new confidence, Lingle was re-elected after her 2006 re-election campaign. Dick Cheney, Lingle attempted to help Republicans carry her state for the first time since 1984. Vice President John Kerry. When some polling late in the election showed Bush tied or narrowly leading Democrat contiguous United States and campaigned for Bush in the [20]

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