Benjamin J. Cayetano
|5th Governor of Hawaii|
December 2, 1994 – December 2, 2002
|Preceded by||John Waihee|
|Succeeded by||Linda Lingle|
|8th Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii|
December 2, 1986 – December 2, 1994
|Preceded by||John Waihee|
|Succeeded by||Mazie Hirono|
|Born|| November 14, 1939|
|Spouse(s)|| Lorraine Gueco (1959–1996)|
Vicky Tiu Liu (1997–present)
|Alma mater|| Los Angeles Harbor College|
University of California, Los Angeles
Loyola Law School
Benjamin Jerome "Ben" Cayetano (born November 14, 1939) served as the fifth Governor of the State of Hawaii from 1994 to 2002. He is the first Filipino American to serve as a state governor in the United States. On January 19, 2012 Cayetano announced that he would be running for Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu. Cayetano's main focus in his mayoral campaign is greater transparency in local government, including ending the Honolulu Rail Transit Project, a plan to build a 20-mile elevated steel on steel rail system in the city.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, Cayetano was estranged from his mother at a young age. Cayetano was raised by his father in Kalihi, an ethnic Filipino neighborhood west of Downtown Honolulu. He would grow up as a latchkey child. In Kalihi, he attended Wallace Rider Farrington High School, a public school aptly known locally as "Home of the Governors" as its buildings were named after several early Hawaiʻi statesmen. The school was only a few blocks from his home. Cayetano received poor grades throughout his years at Farrington and was often disciplined by his teachers and counselors. He barely made marks qualifying him to graduate.
Upon graduation Cayetano married Lorraine Gueco, his high school sweetheart. After the birth of his son Brandon in 1959, he worked a variety of entry-level jobs, such as a metal-packer in a junkyard, truck driver, apprentice electrician, and finally as a draftsman. Frustrated by what he felt were racially motivated and politically unfair hiring practices, he and his family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1963 in pursuit of an education in law.
Cayetano attended Los Angeles Harbor College and eventually transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles in 1966. In 1968, he graduated from UCLA with a major in political science and minor in American history. In 1971, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School.
He then began his career in public service in 1972 when he was appointed to the Hawaii Housing Authority Pearl City.
Cayetano joined the John D. Waihee III gubernatorial ticket in 1986 and became the first Filipino American Lieutenant Governor in the United States. The Waihee/Cayetano ticket was re-elected to a second term in 1990. In his capacity as Lieutenant Governor, Cayetano established the A+ Program, a state-funded, universal, after-school care program with chartered organizations at each public elementary school in Hawaiʻi.
|This section has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. (November 2012)|
Term limits forced Waihee into retirement and the Democratic Party nominated Cayetano to run for Governor of Hawaiʻi in 1994. With attorney Mazie K. Hirono as his running mate, Cayetano was voted into office.
In 1998, Mayor of Maui Linda Lingle was nominated by the Republican Party to run against Cayetano on an agenda of government reform. For months leading into election day, Cayetano trailed Lingle in the major media polls. In the closest election in Hawaii's history, Cayetano won a second term by a single percentage point validated by an official recount of ballots.
Cayetano left office in December 2002. He was succeeded by former Republican challenger Lingle.
Throughout his tenure in office, Cayetano had to contend with economic uncertainty and serious fiscal problems. Declining tax revenues led to budget shortfalls, and the governor often found himself at odds with his fellow Democrats in the state legislature as he attempted to implement budget cuts to balance the state budget.
On education, the Cayetano administration built thirteen new schools, and he was able to persuade the teachers' union to extend the school year by seven days. Also under his administration, the University of Hawaiʻi system gained autonomy over internal affairs. On the other hand, labor disputes with UH professors and public school teachers in April 2001 led to simultaneous strikes by both unions that crippled the state's entire educational system for three weeks.
On January 19, 2012, Cayetano came out of retirement to run for the office of Honolulu Mayor. In the primary election on August 11, 2012, he received more votes than either of his primary opponents, Kirk Caldwell and Peter Carlisle. However, he did not achieve the majority required to win the election outright, and will face Caldwell in the general election on November 6. Cayetano subsequently lost the mayoral election to Kirk Caldell. /articles/Honolulu_mayoral_election,_2012
Cayetano is currently married to his second wife, Vicky Cayetano (maiden name, Liu), whom he married on May 5, 1997. Vicky was president of United Laundry Services at the time of their wedding. She played a major supporting role opposite Elvis Presley in the musical film, It Happened at the World's Fair.
Cayetano and his first wife, former Hawaii First Lady Lorraine Cayetano, divorced in 1996, ending their thirty-seven year marriage. He became the first sitting Hawaiian governor to divorce while in office.
Ben Cayetano has five children. He has three children from his first marriage to Lorraine Cayetano: Brandon, Janeen, and Samantha. Vicky Cayetano also has two children, Marissa and William, from a previous marriage when Cayetano married her.
He appeared as himself in an episode of Baywatch Hawaii in 1999.
|Honolulu Mayoral Election 2012|
|Honolulu mayoral primary election, 2012|
|Nonpartisan||Peter Carlisle (incumbent)||51,101||24.8%|
|Nonpartisan||Khistina Caldwell Dejean||1,289||0.6%|
|Hawaii Gubernatorial Election 1998|
|Democratic||Ben Cayetano (incumbent)||204,206||50.11|
|Hawaii Gubernatorial Election 1994|
|Commons has media related to Ben Cayetano.|
- Campaign website
- Feature story on Ben Cayetano on the UCLA website
|Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
| Succeeded by|
|Governor of Hawaii
| Succeeded by|