Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan) has expressed his intent through a press conference yesterday to run for the position of the CNMI’s non-voting representative to U.S. Congress in the 2018 general elections.
Following the press conference, Demapan also immediately submitted to former representative and current acting president of the Republican Party of the Northern Mariana Islands Association Felicidad Ogumoro his letter of intent to run for CNMI delegate, the position currently held by Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Ind-MP).
Sablan declined to provide comments as of publication.
Currently, the Republicans hold a majority of the seats in U.S. Congress. Demapan cited the success of American Samoa Delegate Amata Coleman Radewagen, who is also the only territory representative that is Republican.
“In the CNMI, we have the same thing,” he said, adding that the House of Representatives and the Senate both have a majority of Republican officials.
“The importance of this is as a Republican member of the U.S. Congress working with a majority of Republican White House, the opportunities are greater. The opportunities to bring maximum benefits to the people of the Commonwealth are greater,” he said, citing Radewagen.
“In two terms, [Radewagen] has done more for American Samoa than other delegates of the territories that belong to the opposition party.”
Demapan added that he has been thinking of running for about a year.
“It pretty much dated back to the point last year when we figured that our successful, growing economy was severely being threatened by a federal policy that we believe was not conducive to the welfare of the Commonwealth,” he said, without specifying the exact federal policy.
According to Demapan, some federal policies implemented at a larger scale are not “sound to be implemented here.”
He added that many of his concerns are not only the shortage of labor workforce plaguing the CNMI, but also the Covenant.
“[The Covenant] was forged in the principle that the U.S. would help us thrive as a people; as a U.S. citizenry here, although detached,” he said, adding that the Covenant added such mechanisms that he believes is going in “the other direction.”
Ogumoro yesterday announced that the CNMI GOP board would be meeting today, from 10am to 11am, to take action on Demapan’s letter of intent. She did not specify where the meeting would be held.