Tuā’au Kereti Māta’utia Jr. to run for Congress
The 2014 General Election set for Nov. 8, 2014 is less than a year away and the first Congressional candidate to throw his name into the hat is Tuā’au Kereti Māta’utia Jr., who ran unsuccessfully for the same post during the 2012 election.
Next year's election will include only faipule seats in the Fono and a Delegate at Large to Congress.
Tuā’au, who is currently the Assistant Senior Policy Advisor in the Governor’s Office said his reason for running in the congressional race is because of his love for the people of Tutuila, Aunu’u and Manu’a.
“It’s obvious from the last election that the message from me is really about the people. I’m not in it for myself, but it stems from deep within my heart for public service,” he told Samoa News. One of the issues that Tuā’au is keen on is developing the economy.
He spoke briefly about the minimum wage which he said should be a local issue rather than a federal one. “American Samoa’s economy cannot be compared to any US state’s economy… I am trying to have the federal law implementing the minimum wage [hike] delayed because it will take a toll on our local economy. Our business community cannot take it,” he said.
Tuā’au said his philosophy on the issue is: “leave the local minimum wage issue to be developed locally within in our Legislature. It should not be a federal issue; after all, we the locals will be greatly affected by it."
“To move forward is thinking backward,” is Tuā’au’s slogan for his campaign.
When asked if he’s informed Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga that he’ll be running in the upcoming election, Tua'au said, “I’ve yet to inform the Governor; however, this is a private matter and our laws are very liberal. Running for office is a fundamental right of every person entitled to run for office.”
Tua’au was born in Vatia and is married to Nora Academia Lacamiento of Hawaii and the Philippines. They have two children — John K. L. Mata’utia and Caroline I. A. Mata’utia.
He graduated from Manu’a High School in 1984.
As the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy once said, "Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
For these reasons, Tua’au has devoted his life to public service.
He was an intern at the ASG Attorney General's Office and served as a special assistant to the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), U.S. Senate, Washington DC.
He is also a former Equal Employment Opportunity Officer at DHR; a Senior Director of Human Resources at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center; Private Business Professional Trainer at Private Human Resources Consultants Limited; Senior Director of Human Resources at the American Samoa Community College; Adjunct Lecturer at College & University; and Pacific Islander Federal Healthcare Board Member for the Federal Healthcare Policy Initiative.
Education wise, Tua'au holds a Juris Doctorate of Law (JD) from Southern California Institute of Law, an MBA in Accounting and Finance, a Master's in Human Resources Management from Hawaii Pacific University, a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Affairs, as well as Pre-Law and Human Behavior from the United States International University, and an AA degree in Pre-Law, Business/Commerce from the American Samoa Community College.
Tuā’au also attended the University of Phoenix, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Medical School were he received ACCME/AMA honors.