6 early birds file candidacy for Nov. polls

Incumbent Sen. Teresita Santos (R-Saipan) files her petition for candidacy for Senate yesterday at the Commonwealth Election Commission. She is running as an independent. (Erwin Encinares)

Five independent candidates and a non-partisan trooped to the Commonwealth Election Commission in Susupe yesterday, the first day of filing the nominating petitions and candidacy for the Nov. 6 general election.

Rota Senator Teresita A. Santos was the first to file candidacy when she submitted her nominating petition and candidacy at 8am.

Former Department of Community and Cultural Affairs secretary Cecilia Taitano joined the big number of independent candidates when she filed her candidacy for a House of Representatives seat on precinct 4.

Incumbent House precinct 4 Rep. Vinnie Vinson Flores Sablan (Ind-Saipan) filed his candidacy for Saipan senator. He was accompanied by some supporters, including Reps. Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) and Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan).

Incumbent Senator Steve K. Mesngon (Ind-Rota) filed his candidacy for Rota mayor.

Former Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board member Albert A. Taitano filed his candidacy as an independent for a Rota Senate seat.

Thomas Sablan Muna was the last to file for candidacy yesterday as a non-partisan for a seat in the Saipan Municipal Council.

Santos in an interview with Saipan Tribune said her filing of candidacy petition is the first step of the election process.

“With profound gratitude, I humbly ask our electorates of Rota for their continued support, trust and confidence on my candidacy for this year’s general election,” said Santos, who is seeking reelection.

The senator vowed to continue to represent the people of Rota and the CNMI “to the best of my ability and capability.”

Aside from Santos and Albert Taitano, five others will be battling for two Rota Senate seats.

Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog and former Rota Department of Public Safety resident director Felix M. Santos are running under the Republican banner. The three other independent candidates are science teacher Edward C. Maratita Jr., retired police officer Joel Charfauros, and former senator Jovita Taimanao.

Aug. 8 is the deadline for submission of nominating petitions and candidacy.

CEC has until Sept. 22 to take action on nominating petitions and candidacy documents.

The governor and lieutenant governor seats and 42 other government positions are up for grabs in the coming election.

CEC executive director Julita A. Villagomez said yesterday that the CEC board will hold a meeting at CEC’s conference room this Friday, July 13, at 1pm.

CEC board pro temp chair Jesus I. Sablan set the meeting. The agenda include election of pro temp vice chair and hearing on challenges of registrations.

CEC is expecting the bulk of candidacy filing on the Aug. 8 deadline because most of them are government employees.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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