Former House speaker Heinz Sablan Hofschneider declared Monday morning his intention to run for the office of the governor, with Senate floor leader Ray Naraja Yumul (Ind-Saipan) as his lieutenant governor in the November gubernatorial elections. They are running as independents. Both were formerly with the Republican Party.
“We are your choice for change,” Hofschneider said at the beginning of a news briefing at the family’s compound in Upper Gualo Rai.
Hofschneider was joined by his wife Susana, and Yumul was joined by his wife Maritess.
This is Hofschneider’s third run for governor, after being a candidate in the 2005 and 2009 elections. Hofschneider won the popular vote in 2009 as a Republican but failed to get a majority, resulting in the first CNMI runoff election opposite Benigno R. Fitial. Hofschneider lost to Fitial by 370 votes in the runoff race.
The Hofschneider-Yumul team could be racing against at least three others in this year’s election – Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Senate President Ralph Torres (R-Saipan) of the Republican Party; former governor Juan N. Babauta and former senator Juan S. Torres who are asking GOP for an open primary; and former Commonwealth Ports Authority executive director Edward Masga Deleon Guerrero, a Democrat.
Full story in Tuesday’s paper.