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(PRESS RELEASE) —Former Associate Judge Save Liuato Afa Tuitele and PiCED CEO Tofoitaufa Sandra King Young formally declared their intention to run for Governor and Lt. Governor in the 2012 election before a gathering of family, friends and committee members on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

Save stated that he and Tofoitaufa have the same values and belief systems in honesty, fairness and justice. They are both deeply committed in serving all of the people of the territory regardless of their backgrounds or family ties. Their vision is to build a future for the children and families of American Samoa that is rooted in their love of the people, its lands, culture and language. They want to give people hope for a future that is built upon a culture of transparency, efficiency, accountability, equality and partnership with the private sector to help strengthen local economic sustainability.

Save emphasized that both he and Tofoitaufa have positive and strong professional ties to Washington, D.C. that would be extremely helpful in rebuilding trust and credibility with the federal government agencies and Congress.

Save was selected to be the Lt. Governor running mate for Utu Abe Malae before Utu’s withdrawal from the gubernatorial race.  Save stated, “I remain steadfast in my love and commitment to my people and my territory to serve them with all that I have. I believe that our territory and our people are ready for a new leadership to take our government and people into a stable future, for the sake of our children. Thus, I have chosen to run for Governor, because I believe I can and will do the job necessary to build a stronger future for all our people.”

Save is a retired Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5) from the United States Army where he served 30 consecutive years of active duty. He was the first Samoan to achieve such rank.  In 1989, he was accepted into the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) where he held various key leadership positions while stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii; Camp Casey, Republic of Korea; Bad Kissinger, Germany; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort  Sill, Oklahoma; and Fort Hood, Texas.  While on active duty with the U.S. Army, Save found time to attend college at night.  He received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Chaminade, Hawaii and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from McKendree College, Illinois. His matai title, "Save" is of the Tuitele family in the village of Leone, Fofo County, where he was raised all his life.

Save is also a conferred Deacon with the Christian Congregation Church of American Samoa (CCCAS) at "Siona le Mauga Paia" church in Leone. His father is Save A. Tuitele of Leone and Manono, and his mother is Agatele Itula Tigilau of Ta’u, Manu’a. Save is married to the former Sarah Haleck, daughter of Max Haleck, Jr, of Pago Pago, American Samoa. Save and Sarah have four children and twelve grand children. 

Tofoitaufa Sandra King Young is the Founder and CEO of PiCED, the nonprofit that has been providing SAT prep, after-school, summer school and youth leadership programs for children and parents for the past 10 years. PiCED recently was awarded the Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit of the Year Award in 2011.


She developed her professional career in Washington, D.C. gaining broad policy experience working in the federal government and the private sector.  She first went to Washington, D.C. to work as the American Samoa Intern in the Office of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye where she was instrumental in helping to secure $3 million in seed funds to establish the Pacific Islands Cancer Program at the National Cancer Institute to fund cancer research for Samoans and other Pacific Islanders.  She worked as a lobbyist with the late Republican Congressman Lawrence R. Coughlin at the law firm of Eckert Seamans, lobbying before Congress on healthcare, maritime, environmental and transportation issues. 

She attended night school at the George Washington University Law School for four years maintaining a full-time job and upon graduation from law school as a night student, she returned to the U.S. Senate to serve as Senator Inouye’s Professional Democratic Staffer on the Senate Rules Committee. She became the first Samoan and highest ranking Samoan/Pacific Islander to receive a political appointee in the Clinton Administration, as Deputy Director for the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) that oversees all the U.S. territories. She resigned her post at OIA to serve as Vice President Al Gore’s National Director for APIA Outreach on the Gore/Lieberman campaign in the 2000 Presidential election. After the election, she was asked to return to the U.S. Department of Interior as Acting Director of OIA to manage transition activities to the new incoming Bush Administration where she strongly supported the recommendation to elevate the OIA back to Assistant Secretary level status.

She returned home in 2001 and worked for the Speaker of the House in the Fono before leaving to establish PiCED. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University and her Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University Law School where she was a member of the GW International Law Review.

She is an alumni of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Nonprofit Management Program and trains regional nonprofits on running audit clean organizations. Tofoitaufa is a graduate of Fa’asao High School and Alofau Elementary School and was raised in Fagatogo, Auasi and Amouli.  She is the daughter of the late J.P. “Jake” King, of Arab, Alabama.  Her mother is the late Rowena Avaoniua Johnson of Saoluafata and Levi, Saleimoa. She holds the taupou title of Tofoitaufa in her Mailo family in Fagatogo and the high chief title of Vaivao in her Tagaloa family in Saoluafata, Samoa. She is married to Filifaiesea Seumanu Peter Young of Nuu’uli and has two sons, Leolemau Veleutu and Pikasone Fulutusi.  Sandra lives with her husband and children in the village of Nu’uuli.