GOP names only 3 of 6 needed Precinct 3 bets
The Democratic Party will be endorsing tonight the gubernatorial candidacy of former Commonwealth Ports Authority executive director Edward “Tofila” M. Deleon Guerrero, even as the Republican Party announced yesterday only three of six needed House Precinct 3 candidates to give way to independents and candidates from other parties.
Jess Taisague, one of those instrumental in reorganizing the Democratic Party in February, said yesterday that the party will be officially presenting their gubernatorial candidate, Deleon Guerrero, at 6pm in the party’s headquarters in Dandan.
Deleon Guerrero, 63, is a former Department of Public Works secretary during the term of former governor Froilan C. Tenorio, a Democrat at the time. He was later named commissioner of the then-Marianas Public Lands Authority under former Republican governor Juan N. Babauta’s time. Deleon Guerrero chaired the Committee to Elect Babauta in the 2009 Republican primary. He was later named CPA executive director by the Fitial administration until he was removed by the board of directors last year.
Taisague said yesterday that the Democrats will also be endorsing tonight the candidates for lieutenant governor and delegate. Former Commerce secretary Andrew Salas earlier indicated his willingness to run for delegate, so far the only individual this election year to challenge incumbent Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP).
Deleon Guerrero is among the up to four individuals eyeing the governor’s post this year. The other three are incumbent Gov. Eloy S. Inos of the Republican Party; former House speaker Heinz S. Hofschneider, an independent; and former governor Juan N. Babauta, also a Republican whose request for a primary was shot down, but has yet to decide whether he would still run as an independent.
With the gubernatorial race getting crowded, it would be harder to get at least 50-percent plus 1 of the votes cast, setting the CNMI up for another gubernatorial runoff race.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party announced yesterday three more official candidates for the House of Representatives, this time for Precinct 3: incumbent Rep. Felicidad Ogumoro (R-Saipan), former representative Stanley Torres, and Vicente Camacho, current director of the Veterans’ Affairs Office.
With the GOP officially naming only three candidates for Precinct 3, which has a total of six slots, this would pave the way for other candidates that are independents, Independent-Republicans or previously ran under the Covenant Party to be able to fill the three remaining slots.
The other incumbents from Precinct 3 are vice speaker Frank Dela Cruz (Ind-Saipan), Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Cov-Saipan), Rep. Ralph Yumul (Ind-Saipan), Rep. Ray Tebuteb (Ind-Saipan), and Rep. Tony Benavente (Ind-Saipan).
Yesterday’s announcement from Ivan Blanco, chairman of the GOP Central Committee’s public relations team, brings to eight the officially endorsed GOP candidates for the November 2014 race, including the gubernatorial tandem of Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Senate President Ralph Torres (R-Saipan); Precinct 2 candidates House floor leader Ralph Demapan and Rep. John Paul Sablan; and Saipan mayoralty candidate Joe Agulto Reyes.
The GOP will hold a kickoff rally on March 23, Sunday, at the Susupe basketball courts.