Former House Speaker Heinz S. Hofschneider formally announced his candidacy last night for one of the two Senate seats up for grabs in the general election on Nov. 6.
He is running as an independent bet, aligned with former governor Juan N. Babauta and Dr. Rita A. Sablan.
Hofschneider—who was House speaker during the 13th CNMI Legislature—made the announcement yesterday in front of his family, friends, and supporters of the Babauta-Sablan ticket at the former governor’s house in Gualo Rai.
He also urged his fellow independent candidates who are also running in different positions in the election to unite and form one coalition.
Babauta added it was a phenomenon that a lot of people in the community want to get involved as independent candidates.
Hofschneider said that returning to the Legislature was the common message that most people have asked him to do since coming back to Saipan in April. “I was away to take care of my brother in the last two years. Now he’s in a better place.”
“But for the last three months, since coming back to Saipan, I listened to a lot of people on what was life about. There’s one common message, ‘Heinz, you should go back to the Legislature.’”
“’Haven’t you had enough of me, for 16 years?’ was my answer to them. But they said that they need someone to represent our people,” added Hofschneider, who lamented that leadership in the CNMI has deteriorated in the last few years.
He said that he decided to come out of retirement after talking to a number of people in the community.