GOP dominates Senate race; independents rule House


While the NMI Republican Party dominated the senatorial race, independent candidates had their way in the election for seats in the CNMI House of Representatives.

According to the Commonwealth Election Commission’s unofficial results, the local GOP cornered five of the six senatorial seats up for grabs in Tuesday’s general elections.

On Saipan, GOP bet and former House Speaker Arnold I. Palacios was the top vote getter with 4,542 votes.

The election for a second senator for Saipan, however, is still undetermined as the CEC is still trying to figure out why Republican bet Oscar Babauta and independent Justo Quitugua both got zero votes in Election District 5 (Kagman). As of now, Babauta has a slight lead over Quitugua, 3,356 to 3,282.

On Tinian, the Republican pair of incumbent Francisco Q. Cruz and Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider was the Top 2 with 768 and 726 votes, respectively.

Rep. Teresita A. Santos, another GOP candidate, successfully hurdled the senatorial race on Rota and is the top vote getter with 786 votes, while Steven K. Mesngon is so far the only independent candidate that survived the Republican onslaught in the Senate race by finishing second to Santos with 687 votes.

In the special elections for the Senate seat vacated by Ray Yumul, on-leave Commerce secretary Sixto K. Igisomar of the GOP won by a mile with 5,903 votes.

In the House, 13 of the 20 incoming representatives are independent candidates with the remaining seven belonging to the GOP.

Republican Angel Demapan topped Precinct 1 with 1,935 votes, followed by independent Edwin K. Propst (1,585), GOP’s Joseph “Leepan” T. Guerrero (1,537), independent Rep. Roman Benavente (1,508), independent and House Speaker Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero (1,424), and Rep. Anthony P. Sablan (1,354), also an independent.

In Precinct 2, two Republicans incumbents, Reps. Rafael S. Demapan (578) and John Paul P. Sablan (595), ruled the roost.

Rep. Edmund Villagomez (1,472) led the near sweep of independents in Precinct 3. Other independents winning seats are Blas Jonathan “B.J.” T. Attao (1,455), and Reps. Ralph N. Yumul (1,357), Ramon A. Tebuteb (1,299), and Anthony T. Benavente (1,240). The lone GOP candidate that didn’t get the axe is incumbent Rep. Felicidad T. Ogumoro (1,299).

A pair of independents won seats in Precinct 4 in the persons of Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council member Diego L. Kaipat (502) and Vinson Edward F. Sablan (723).

Rep. Lorenzo I. Deleon was re-elected in Precinct 5 (Kagman) after the independent candidate garnered 849 votes. GOP’s Francisco C. Aguon got the other seat with 515 votes.

In Precinct 6 (Tinian), independent Edwin P. Aldan was victorious over Republican Charlene M. Lizama, 748-663.

In Precinct 7 (Rota), GOP’s Glenn L. Maratita got the better of Thomas Lee A. Manglona with 559 votes against the latter’s 480 votes.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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