Former Tinian mayor Francisco Borja and incumbent Rep. Trenton Conner (Ind-Tinian) have teamed up and filed as independent candidates for Tinian's Senate and House seats, respectively, yesterday.
The two are former Republican supporters who jumped ship for the Nov. 6 mid-term elections.
Borja served the Tinian municipality as its chief executive officer for eight years or from 1998 to 2005. He was also a former senator representing the island for one term in the 1990s.
With his “experience, proven leadership, and genuine care” for the people, Borja is convinced that he will continue to receive the support of Tinian's residents.
Borja disclosed that his decision to return to politics was a result of encouragement and motivation from the people of Tinian.
“With all these problems with CUC [Commonwealth Utilities Corpo.], [NMI] Retirement Fund, Commonwealth Health Center.they need my help. People motivated me to run because they know that I can help them,” he told Saipan Tribune yesterday.
Borja is running against Joaquin Borja who also filed his candidacy along with the Republican candidates yesterday. Incumbent Sen. Henry San Nicolas (Cov-Tinain) is not seeking reelection and Borja recognized the valuable works and contributions of the lawmaker to the development of Tinian and its people.
If elected to the office, Borja vows to focus on legislation that will help improve the economy. He believes that once this issue has been addressed, everything will start to fall into place.
Meantime, Conner vowed to continue the good leadership he started in the House. Conner, who emphasized the importance of continuity in leadership, run and won under the GOP banner in the previous election.
This mid-term polls, he decided to go independent because he disagreed with the election in of the Republic Party's new president-Gov. Benigno Fitial-founder and titular head of the CNMI Covenant Party. For Conner, this action was a “betrayal” to the party which is now being dictated by its leader, alluding to Fitial.
Conner is seeking a second term at the House of Representatives. If reelected, he vows to work on bills that will help the government increase its revenue. He said he will also continue to advocate for the appointment of CNMI representative in every embassy of the United States around the world. Conner had introduced a resolution on this effect, citing this should have been considered as part of the Covenant agreement between the CNMI and the U.S.
“We also have to look at the viability of what we have to offer and what the outside world is looking at,” he said, adding that it's time to inform the outside world the existence of the CNMI and what it can offer to the outside world.
Besides the Borja-Conner tandem, three individuals also filed their independent candidacies for the municipal council yesterday. They included incumbent council chair Steve Cabrera, incumbent vice chair Joseph Cruz, and Antonio Borja.
The five candidates filed their petitions with their supporters that include, among others, Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, Tinian Legislative Delegation chair Jude Hofschneider, and Sen. Francisco Cruz (R-Tinian).