Brothers duel for senatorial seat

Paul Manglona files his candidacy, younger brother Thomas expected to file his candidacy any time

For the first time in CNMI history, two brothers are running for the same elected position.

This developed as Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) filed yesterday afternoon before the Commonwealth Election Commission his candidacy for Rota’s senatorial seat.

This means that Manglona will square off for the same position in the Nov. 8 elections against his younger brother, Thomas A. Manglona, who had already announced on Rota his intent to run.

Thomas A. Manglona is expected to file soon his candidacy under the NMI Democratic Party, multiple sources said. Saipan Tribune sent questions to him, but as of press time there was no reply.

Asked why he is running again, Paul Manglona said he feels that there are still many things that need to be done.

“I feel I can contribute and the best person to contribute not only to the Commonwealth but Rota in particular,” the senator said.

Paul Manglona said his experience and with his heart, he needs to continue offering his leadership to the Commonwealth and Rota in particular.

“Rota now, the people are really suffering,” he said.

The senator said what is happening now on Saipan looks very positive as investors are coming here, the real estate properties are going up, wages are somehow going up, employment opportunities are available for local people, and students have something to look forward in coming back home.

“I want to see that translate also to Rota and to Tinian,” he said.

The senator said he believes that this is not the right time for him to step aside knowing what is going on and knowing that it is going to take people with strong leadership and experience and having the heart to sacrifice to get Rota and the Commonwealth back on the right track.

Asked for comments about the fact that he is running against his younger brother, Thomas, the senator said he is not running against anyone.

“I hope and I wish that I can say that they can support me. If anyone wants to run I think that this is a democratic system that we have here. But I think I can stand up to my record,” said the senator as he cited that he served the people as senator for more than 26 years now.

“I think my record speaks for itself,” he added.

The senator refused to comment as to the reason why his brother is also running for the same position.

Paul Manglona, a runner-up in the November 2014 election for a Senate seat for Rota, was appointed early this year to the vacant seat that Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog left when he ascended to his current post after the passing of the late governor Eloy S. Inos in December 2015.

Paul Manglona was then the longest serving member of the Legislature after 25 years, thrice as Senate president, until Hocog defeated him in the 2012 elections.

In November 2013, Paul Manglona returned to the Senate after then-acting governor Jude Hofschneider appointed him to the 18th Senate when the CNMI Supreme Court ruled that the successful candidate in the 2012 election—and not in the 2009 polls—should be appointed to the seat vacated by former Rota senator Juan M. Ayuyu.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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