Crowded Nov. race on Rota

7 running for senators, 5 battling for mayor

It’s a crowded race on Rota this Nov. 6. Seven are running for two positions at the Senate, five are battling for a mayoral seat, and three will be duking it out for a lone House post.

Of the 15 candidates, 11 are independents and four are Republicans, Saipan Tribune learned from sources on Rota.

The number, however, may still increase as there is still enough time to file candidacies. July 9 is the first day to submit nominations and candidacies. The deadline for submission is Aug. 8.

For the Senate, Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog and former Rota Department of Public Safety resident director Felix M. Santos are running as Republicans, while Sen. Teresita A. Santos (R-Rota) is seeking re-election as an independent candidate.

The four other independent candidates are science teacher Edward C. Maratita Jr., former Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board member Albert Taitano, retired police officer Joel Charfauros, and former senator Jovita Taimanao.

For the House, floor leader Glenn L. Maratita (R-Rota) is seeking re-election. The challengers are Thomas Atalig and Donald Manglona, who are both independents.

For mayor, Efraim Atalig is seeking a second term. Senate Vice President Steve Mesngon (R-Rota) and three other independents—CNMI Women’s Association treasurer Julie Manglona, former Rota Health Center resident director Crispin M. Ayuyu, and former Rota DPS resident director Richard E. Taisacan—are gunning for the mayoral position, too.

Santos welcomes the large number of candidates on Rota, saying this only means that the democratic process in alive and well on Rota—people have the right to choose representatives, who, in turn make policy decisions on their behalf.

Santos said that having candidates for the people to choose from is a fundamental principle. “Voters need to have a free and informed choice to determine who will best represent them,” she said.

One of Santos’ priorities is the island’s air and water transportation service.

“When our transport systems are efficient, they will provide economic and social opportunities and benefits that will result in a positive multiplier effect,” she said.

The senator said she will also seek ways to enhance the island’s economy to include human capital and physical capital.

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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