Department of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Arnold I. Palacios said yesterday he is running for senator under the Republican Party in the November 2014 general elections, a few years after becoming a House speaker in the 16th Legislature.
“A senior Saipan senator is retiring and I had the privilege to develop certain skills set that will be very valuable to the community as former member of the House and Cabinet, especially during these very challenging times,” Palacios told Saipan Tribune.
Palacios was DLNR Division of Fish and Wildlife director for 12 years, from 1984 to 1996, prior to becoming a lawmaker. He also served as fisheries data program manager at DFW before becoming division director.
He served four terms at the House of Representatives, becoming speaker in the 16th Legislature. He ran for the lieutenant governor post but lost.
In 2011, Palacios got his old job back as DFW director and eight months later was appointed DLNR secretary. The Senate confirmed his nomination in early 2012.
Palacios said that further developing the economy will always be among his priorities.
So far, besides Palacios, former speaker and former Public Lands secretary Oscar M. Babauta has also announced his intention to run for a Senate seat representing Saipan.
Two of three Saipan senatorial seats are up for grabs in November—the seats of Sen. Pete Reyes (Ind-Saipan) and Senate President Ralph Torres (R-Saipan). Torres is running for lieutenant governor, with Gov. Eloy S. Inos as his running mate.
Palacios is the latest Cabinet member to announce his intention to see another office. Weeks ago, Attorney General Joey Patrick San Nicolas confirmed he is running for Tinian mayor in the 2014 elections.