David Ige was elected as Hawaii’s eighth governor in 2014, defeating incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary, and Republican Duke Aiona and Hawaii Independent Party member Mufi Hannemann in the general election.
Ige became the first candidate to ever defeat an incumbent Hawaii governor in a primary election, despite being outspent by Abercrombie by more than a 10-1 ratio.
Ige took office Dec. 1, 2014, becoming the second person of Japanese descent to be elected governor of Hawaii (the first being George Ariyoshi), and the first person of Okinawan descent to be elected governor of any state.
Prior to becoming governor, Ige had been a state senator since 1994 representing District 16, which covers Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades and parts of Aiea. As chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, he was a key figure in state budget discussions. He held other leadership positions during his Senate tenure, including majority floor leader and majority technology leader.
Ige also served in the state House of Representatives for nine years.
During a 34-year career as an electrical engineer and project manager, Ige served as program/project manager with Robert A. Ige and Associates, Inc., vice president of engineering at NetEnterprise, and Project Engineer/Senior Principal Engineer at Pihana Pacific. Before that, he worked as an engineer for GTE Hawaiian Tel for more than 18 years.
David Yutaka Ige was born Jan. 15, 1957, and was raised in Pearl City. He graduated from Pearl City High School in 1975. He received his degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hawaii in 1979, as well as an MBA in 1985.
A Buddhist, he and his wife, Dawn, have three children: Lauren, Amy, and Matthew.