Rep. Sheila J. Babauta (D-Saipan), who represents Precinct 4 in the House of Representatives of the 22nd Legislature, announced yesterday that she will not be running for re-election.
Babauta announced her decision in an open letter yesterday, but did not cite a specific reason for her decision other than to say that she intends to continue “to live, work, and serve here” and that she is ready to explore other ways to serve the CNMI and its people.
In her letter, titled “All the Love for Precinct 4 and our Marianas,” she gives thanks to Precinct 4 and the CNMI “for entrusting me with the great honor and responsibility to represent you in the 21st and 22nd CNMI House of Representatives.
“It is with a heavy heart that I officially announce my decision not to run in this 2022 election. It was a really hard decision to make because I truly love representing and advocating for our community.
“In the past three and a half years, I have expanded and grown professionally and personally. From adopting the Tanapag Youth Center to representing the CNMI on international stages, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve our people and represent our home. It has strengthened my love for our precinct, our island, and our Marianas.
“Being a legislator is just one way to serve our great Marianas and I am ready to explore other ways to serve our people. I am dedicated to public service and I intend to continue leading the movement toward environmental justice, promoting our Indigenous rights and culture, and ensuring our people live long, healthy, and purposeful lives.
“More than anything, it is our duty as a people to work toward moving our Marianas, and our world forward. We have the power and inspiration to write the next chapters of our story—whether that be better management and protections for our environment, supporting small and locally owned businesses, or guiding our youth. We each have a role to play in making our home the paradise we know it is.
“I love our home and I’m not leaving. I am not going anywhere. I plan to continue to live, work, and serve here—and hopefully raise a family here too.
“Thank you to my loved ones, friends, and supporters who helped me become the leader I am. My amazing team, Jenise, Zeno Jr., Edilynn, Kenzi, Ofing, and interns Trini, Emma, Ryan and Maryjo—I am grateful for your hard work and dedication. My family, Diego and Dolorina Babauta, and siblings, Carmine, Tracy, Justin and Kristine—your endless love and support mean the world to me. My campaign manager and Nina, Susan Babauta and her husband, John, as well as their children, Jessica and Nancy—I’ve been blessed to have you all by my side.
“I have aspirations to run for higher office and I keep those dreams close because 2024 is just around the corner. But for now, let’s stay informed, ask questions, and exercise our right to vote in November. This is an important election and I hope to see you at the polls!” (Saipan Tribune)