The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: Eileen Anderson Ousts Frank Fasi as Governor in December 1980

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Eileen Anderson Ousts Frank Fasi as Governor in December 1980


Political upheaval rocked the town when longtime Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi was ousted by voters in favor of the buttoned-up Eileen Anderson, who was best known as then-Gov. George Ariyoshi’s director of budget and finance.


HONOLULU Magazine commissioned writer/professor Dan Boylan to dive into the big upset and detail her campaign strategy. “How did the Burns-Ariyoshi Democrats, united by their animosity for Frank Fasi, split their opposition in 1980? And how did Eileen Anderson, who one critic said looked like a fourth grade schoolteacher from Dubuque, defeat a colorful three-term incumbent and prove the experts wrong?” Anderson served a single four-year term: Fasi made another comeback, defeating her and winning reelection two more times to become Honolulu’s longest-serving mayor. Now, anyone who wins that job is limited to two consecutive terms.


SEE ALSO: The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: In 1946, Some Wanted Hawai‘i to Be the 49th State



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