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Governor of the State of Hawaii
Logo of the Office of the Governor of Hawaii.png
Flag of the Governor of Hawaii.svg
Flag of the Governor of Hawaii
Governor David Ige.jpg
David Ige

since December 1, 2014
Residence Washington Place
Hale Kia Aina
Term length Four years, renewable once: eligible again after 4-year respite.
Inaugural holder William F. Quinn
Formation 1959
Website Office of the Governor

The Governor of Hawaii is the chief executive of the state of Hawaii and its various agencies and departments, as provided in the Hawaii State Constitution Article V, Sections 1 through 6. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state. The governor is responsible for enforcing laws passed by the Hawaii State Legislature and upholding rulings of the Hawaii State Judiciary. The role includes being commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Hawaii and having the power to use those forces to execute laws, suppress insurrection and violence and repel invasion. The Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii becomes acting governor upon the governor's absence from the state or if the governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office. Historically, the Governor of Hawaii has been from either the Democratic Party of Hawaii or Hawaii Republican Party.

The current Governor of Hawaii is Democrat David Ige, who assumed the position on December 1, 2014. Hawaii was the first state to have an Asian American governor; George R. Ariyoshi served three terms between 1974–1986. Currently the state has had three Asian American governors, one Native Hawaiian governor, and four white governors.


The Governor of Hawaii is limited to two four-year terms. Inauguration takes place on the first Monday in December following a gubernatorial election. A single term ends at noon four years later. There is no lifetime limit on the number of times a governor may be elected, but a governor who has been elected to two consecutive terms must be out of office for at least one election cycle before being eligible once again for re-election. A Governor is:

  • required to be at least 30 years old,
  • required to have been a resident of Hawaii for five consecutive years previous to election,
  • barred from other professions or paid positions during the term.


The Governor of Hawaii's official residence is Washington Place, a mansion that was once a minor royal palace of Queen Liliʻuokalani and her husband, Prince Consort John Owen Dominis. The mansion is located across the street from the Hawaii State Capitol, where the Office of the Governor is located, and is accessed from the Capitol through underground passages beneath Beretania Street in downtown Honolulu. Befitting of its history as a former royal palace, the Governors of Hawaii have entertained royal families from around the world at Washington Place including Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Emperors Hirohito and Akihito of Japan.

In 2001, the new mansion for the governor was built on the grounds of Washington Place, after the state decided to turn Washington Place into a museum, an idea supported by then-Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano and family. This new mansion: Hale Kia Aina was completed in 2002 and Cayetano became the first governor to live in it for a few days before leaving office. His successor, Governor Linda Lingle, became the first governor to begin a term in the new mansion. Despite the building of this new mansion, Washington Place remains the official residence of the governor and is still used for state dinners and other official functions.

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