Even as the Republican Party extended up to Feb. 21 the deadline for submission of letters of intent to run in the November general elections, John Oliver “Bolis” Gonzales could be on the running again for the party’s candidate for nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, sources said.
Gonzales, however, told Saipan Tribune yesterday he is neither confirming nor denying a delegate candidacy this year. Gonzales is executive director of the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library.
To date, no one has announced intention to challenge incumbent Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), who is seeking a fourth term in Congress.
In 2012, Gonzales considered but later declined the Republican Party’s nomination to run as delegate for “personal reasons.” Gonzales finished third in a nine-way delegate race in 2008, the first time the CNMI held an election for delegate.
Republican Party officials, including acting chair Matilde “Keiko” Rosario and treasurer Ed C. Deleon Guerrero, said yesterday that so far, only six candidates have been officially accepted and endorsed by the GOP.
These include Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Senate President Ralph Torres (R-Saipan) for governor and lieutenant governor; two Saipan senatorial candidates Arnold Palacios and Oscar M. Babauta; and Precinct 2 House members floor leader Ralph Demapan and John Paul Sablan, both from the defunct Covenant Party. Palacios and Babauta are both former House speakers, while Palacios is currently secretary of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources.
GOP officials, however, acknowledged that many individuals have already expressed interest in running for office through word-of-mouth or through the media.
Rosario said they moved the original Feb. 7 deadline to submit letters of intent to Feb. 21, which is this Friday.
Meanwhile, Rep. Christopher Leon Guerrero said yesterday he has not decided yet whether to run under the Republican Party or not. Leon Guerrero ran under the Covenant Party in 2012.
The Covenant Party, whose titular leader was Inos, merged with the Republican Party last year.