Acting governor Victor Hocog said he would sign yesterday a letter to appoint runner-up Paul Manglona to the vacant Senate seat Hocog left when he ascended to the post of lieutenant governor following the passing of late governor Eloy S. Inos.
But at the same time, Hocog said he wanted to sit down and talk with Manglona to “cool” the fires of any potential rumbling between Rota lawmakers and Manglona, who came in third behind Sens. Steven K. Mesngon (R-Rota) and Teresita A. Santos (R-Rota) in the last election.
“I was calling the senator [Manglona] to come here so I can make the appointment but he’s not responding so maybe he’s not interested,” Hocog told reporters on Capitol Hill yesterday. “I am going to reach out to him today to see if he can come up. I’d like to talk to him before I sign his appointment. I have the appointment letter ready.”
Hocog said he would sign the letter yesterday. When asked elaborate on what he’d like to share with Manglona, Hocog said he’d like to discuss “the navigation of what we plan to accomplish” and “see if we can all work together with the Legislature and try to address issues of importance.”
“To work with the administration as well,” he added. Particularly, he said “issues with the [Rota] delegation” and Manglona that Hocog said he would like to “extinguish.”
“If there is fire being created I’d like to cool it off and bring them together,” Hocog said.
Gonzales heads to Capitol Hill
Hocog also informed senior staff members yesterday of his appointment of John O. Gonzales to serve as his chief of staff. Gonzales, a former Joeten Kiyu Public Library executive director who resigned from the post last March, began his work at the Lt. Governor’s Office yesterday.
Prior to being appointed to this post, Gonzales served various management positions at the NMI National State Library and NMI Department of Public Lands. He was a policy cabinet member in a prior administration with extensive policy, NMI-Federal relations, and capital infrastructure improvement work, and was a legal policy staffer at the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. including as a legislative staffer at the NMI Senate.
Many know Gonzales as the host and producer of the TV talk show and talk radio on Sundays on Magic Radio 100.3 FM. Gonzales is also Truman Scholar Institute Fellow out of the U.S. Department of Interior in 1992 in which he performed legislative analysis and legal research, reviewed white papers, prepared reports and presented to department and U.S. Congressional officials. Gonzales also has a master’s degree in International Management from the University of Phoenix (2005); spent a summer at Duke University (2000), and is an alumnus of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington (1993). He graduated summa Cum Laude from the Northern Mariana’s College (1991) after being the salutatorian at Marianas High School (1989).