Northern Islands Mayor Jerome Kaipat Aldan died early Saturday morning after collapsing outside J’s Restaurant in Oleai.
Aldan’s common law wife said the doctors at the Commonwealth Health Center told her that he died from a massive heart attack, pending an autopsy.
Witnesses said Aldan and a friend stepped out of J’s Restaurant around 1:50am on Saturday after having a late dinner that was punctuated with jolly laughs over a bowl of soba. Moments later Aldan collapsed and was rushed to CHC.
Aldan’s Facebook page has been flooded with condolences and laudatory words for being a good leader and a good man.
Saipan and Northern Islands chair Luis John “L.J.” Castro will be the acting mayor of the Northern Islands.
Castro earlier told Saipan Tribune that he was actually supposed to become the acting mayor of the Northern Islands today, Monday, as Aldan was set to go on an off-island trip to Japan.
Castro said that, like the entire island community, he is in shock with the untimely passing of Aldan, who he said was very energetic and always goes out on a limb to serve his constituents.
Castro will serve as acting mayor until Gov. Ralph DLG Torres names a replacement for Aldan.
In 2014, the late governor Eloy S. Inos named Marian Deleon Guerrero Tudela as mayor of Saipan after the untimely passing of Saipan mayor Donald Glenn P. Flores.
Since Flores died with less than half of his term remaining, Tudela as the second largest vote-getter during the election that Flores won, was offered the opportunity to serve as mayor.
With that as precedent, Vicente Cruz Santos Jr., who finished second to Aldan in the 2015 general election, will be nominated by Torres to carry on Aldan’s unfinished term.
Evening rosary is being held at Aldan’s mother’s residence in upper MIHA housing at 7:30pm.