As a mark of respect for the late former Maui County Mayor Elmer Cravalho, Gov. David Ige has ordered that the flags of the United States and State of Hawai‘i shall be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies, as well as the Hawai‘i National Guard, from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.
“Former Speaker Cravalho was a trailblazer who helped shaped the Democratic Party and the island of Maui. He will be remembered for his many years in public service, especially his work to support the underprivileged on the Valley Isle,” said Gov. David Ige.
Cravalho began his political career in 1955 when he was elected to the Territorial House of Representatives. It was Cravalho who relayed the message from then Territorial Delegate John Burns in Washington, D.C., to a cramped House of Representatives at I’olani Palace that the U.S. Congress had approved statehood for Hawai‘i. Cravalho served as speaker of the Territorial and State House from 1959-1967.
He was elected as Maui’s first mayor in 1969 under a new charter provision that established the current political system, and served until 1979 when he suddenly left office after reelection to a second term. As mayor, Cravalho is credited with promoting the development of South Maui.
Born in Paia, Maui, Cravalho was one of seven children.