Former governor Juan N. Babauta has officially endorsed the candidacy of Gov. Eloy S. Inos for the Nov. 21 runoff election for governor.
“The people have made a decision. It quite firmly and overwhelmingly says that they want to keep the present administration under Gov. Inos. The mandate of the people is always something I uphold, respected, and should be followed,” he said in a phone interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday.
Babauta acknowledged that he and his camp met with Inos’ committee-to-elect chair Greg Camacho and NMI Republican Party president James Ada over the weekend and after careful evaluation, he and his running mate, Juan S. Torres, have decided to throw their support to Inos and his running mate, Senate President Ralph DLG. Torres (R-Saipan).
“I’ve always been a Republican and I want to remain loyal to my party and support the Republican Party. I met with committee-to-elect Inos/Torres and I met with their chairman and I also met with the president of the local GOP and we had a very fruitful discussion about the Babauta/Torres tandem supporting the Inos/Torres candidacy and it seems our camp is leaning toward that direction, if not already, so we are supporting the Inos/Torres candidacy.”
When asked if his endorsement of the Inos/Torres team comes with strings attached, Babauta said his and his camp’s support is unconditional.
“My support would be unconditional. I have no plans [of serving the Inos administration if it wins a second term]. However, I’ve always been a firm believer that if called upon to serve, then you’ll consider that. Serving the people has always been an honorable thing to do. I am throwing my support to Inos/Torres without any conditions.”
Babauta also thanked his supporters and hinted at his future plans following an exhausting election campaign.
“I want to thank them for supporting me. I owe them a great deal of gratitude. Unfortunately the election didn’t go our way but I want tell them how much I appreciate their support for me. …My wife and I will take it easy and see where the future takes us.”
Inos, for his part, thanked Babauta and Torres for their endorsement.
“Ralph and I are extremely humbled by the endorsement of Governor Babauta and his running mate Juan Torres. They ran a great campaign and very passionately articulated their vision for the future of the CNMI. We look forward to working with them and their supporters as Ralph and I continue to talk to the voters about our accomplishments and our plan to identify and enact solutions to the challenges facing the CNMI.”
Babauta/Torres finished third in the election for governor last Nov. 4 with a total of 2,414 votes to their name.
Last Sunday, the local GOP bets also secured the endorsement of NMI Democratic bet Edward “Teofila” M. DeLeon Guerrero and his running mate, Danny Quitugua, for the Nov. 21 runoff election.
Inos/Torres will face the independent tandem of former speaker Heinz Hofschneider and former Senate floor leader Ray Yumul in the gubernatorial runoff.