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PRESS RELEASE October 26, 1999


Texas Governor George W. Bush Tuesday announced that Port Authority Director Abe U. Malae and Republican National Committeewoman Amata Coleman Radewagen will serve as American Samoa Co-Chairs for the Bush for President campaign.

"Amata and I are proud to organize the George W. Bush for President effort in our territory," said Malae. "Governor Bush stands for all the things our parents told us around the dinner table when we were growing up. In this great country, you have to work hard. If you get knocked down, dust yourself off and stand back up. Do what you say you'll do. Respect others and they'll respect you. When you become the big man, look out for the little guy, and one day you too can become President."

"I am confident American Samoa will strongly support Governor Bush and that Samoans living in such places as Hawai‘i, California and Washington state will help propel him to the White House," added Amata.

"I am honored to have the support of these highly regarded Samoan leaders," said Gov. Bush. "They will play an important role in winning American Samoa's four delegate votes at the national convention."

Malae, a University of Pittsburgh-trained civil engineer and public works administrator with a long management career in American Samoa, has specialized in successfully overhauling and downsizing government agencies, including the power and water authority, ports and the territory's only hospital. A member of the cabinets of a succession of governors, cutting across party lines, Malae also is a founder and former chairman of the Pacific Power Association, a regional trade group in the Pacific islands.

Radewagen, the senior committeewoman in the RNC's Western Region, was the territory's Republican nominee for Congress in 1994 and 1996, and currently is a member of the U.S. Congress Leadership Staff at the House Republican Conference chaired by U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, Jr. (R-OK). She is the daughter of the late Governor Peter Tali Coleman (R-AS), the founding chairman of the Republican Party of American Samoa and its national committeeman at the time of his death in 1997.

"When Gov. Bush told me of his decision to appoint Amata as his American Samoa Co-Chair, I was enormously pleased," said Watts, a member of Gov. Bush's Presidential Exploratory Committee and, as an African-American, is the highest ranking minority of either party's leadership in both the House and the Senate. "Gov. Bush has a tremendous and growing outreach program in America's minority communities and will be looking to Amata for advice and counsel on the needs and aspirations of all Americans."

"I am honored and humbled by the confidence shown in me by Governor Bush and Chairman Watts," said Amata. "While Abe is taking primary responsibility for organizing our effort in Pago Pago, my main goal here will be to help bring Governor Bush's vision to the thousands and thousands of Samoans and other Pacific Island Americans who live primarily on the West Coast and in Hawai‘i, and to demonstrate what the Governor's compassionate conservatism-in which I firmly believe-will mean for their daily lives.

The American Samoa's GOP will hold a convention on Saturday, March 4, to elect eight delegates and alternates to the 2000 Republican National Convention in participation in a "super weekend" of delegate selection events also being held in Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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