House Speaker Villagomez files candidacy for 7th term


House of Representatives Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez signs documents for his candidacy for his 7th term in the House representing Precinct 3, before Commonwealth Election Commission executive director Kayla S. Igitol yesterday afternoon. Also in the photo are Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP), family members, supporters, and officials of the committee to elect Villagomez. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

House of Representatives Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez filed yesterday afternoon his candidacy as an independent for his 7th term in the House representing Precinct 3.

Accompanied by family members, supporters, and the committee to elect him, Villagomez submitted his petition for nomination and candidacy documents to Commonwealth Election Commission executive director Kayla S. Igitol inside CEC office in Susupe.

Among those who came to show their support were Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP), House Vice Speaker Blas Jonathan T. Attao (R-Saipan), Rep. Joel Camacho (Ind-Saipan), Rep. Edwin K. Propst (D-Saipan), and former House speaker Oscar M. Babauta.

Babauta is chairman of the Committee to Elect Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang 2022, who are running as governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, under a unified independent team.

When asked why he is seeking a 7th term in the Nov. 8 general election, Villagomez said he loves what he does and there are still a lot of issues and challenges that the CNMI is facing. He noted that the American Rescue Plan Act funding is coming to its end.

“I want to continue to serve the people by trying to be part in helping in improving the economy and also the other services to our people,” he said.

Villagomez described his tenure as speaker in the 22nd Legislature as “very interesting,” noting the collaborative efforts among all party lines under his leadership.

“We have the Democrats chairing committees. We have a Republican floor leader and vice speaker, and an independent speaker, which is myself,” Villagomez said.

Villagomez said he tried to bring the gap closer and have everybody work together, irrespective of party lines.

“In one of our first sessions, it took four days to pass certain bills and a bill introduced by those on the minority side,” he said.
Villagomez was the top vote-getter for Precinct 3 at the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. He has been serving the House since the 17th Legislature. He was elected in his first two terms under the Covenant Party.

He became the House speaker in January 2021 after Rep. Ralph N. Yumul (R-Saipan) flipped his vote and broke the even split in the voting for the speakership.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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