Ex-LDP Lawmaker Gotoda Wins Governor’s Race in Tokushima

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masazumi Gotoda, center, is congratulated after his victory became certain on Sunday evening in Tokushima.

TOKUSHIMA — Former House of Representatives member Masazumi Gotoda, 53, won his first gubernatorial election on Sunday, defeating three other candidates including incumbent Tokushima Gov. Kamon Iizumi, 62, who was seeking his sixth term in office.

Also in the running was Toru Miki, 55, a first-time candidate for governor and former House of Councillors member. Gotoda and Miki were Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers, but the LDP’s prefectural chapter backed Iizumi, resulting in an unusual three-way battle among LDP-related candidates.

The focus of Sunday’s race was whether Tokushima voters would choose to extend the 20-year-long Iizumi administration, which has been in place for five terms since 2003, or opt for change.

Gotoda did three banzai cheers with his supporters at a Tokushima hotel on Sunday evening.

“I was able to be a receptacle for the people’s feelings about Tokushima and to open the door to a new era with them,” Gotoda told reporters. “I will firmly restore a prefectural administration [that operates] from the viewpoint of residents.”