Gov. Eloy S. Inos turned 65 on Friday with a birthday wish that goes beyond “good health” for himself, but also for everyone in the CNMI to “have a better chance to improve their lives.”
The governor said an improved economy will help “lift our peoples’ lives.”
This comes a month after the government approved a Saipan casino license, the development cost of which has gone up from $2 billion to $3.14 billion and then to $7 billion as of last week. Saipan will also see a new $130-million, 300-room hotel in San Antonio, while Tinian will see a $300-million casino resort, along with other major tourism projects.
“I tell you, I think that luck is just coming back to the CNMI people. Look at today’s event,” he said, referring to Saturday’s groundbreaking of a $130-million hotel in San Antonio. “No one would think about something like this two years ago but it is happening.”
The governor said the CNMI people should not take these blessings for granted and should “thank the good Lord, thank the people in the community who support these ideals and development, and also thank the folks who are taking the risk to come and invest in our islands.”
“The thing is, we should never take for granted these blessings. …There would be few thorns along the way; we can never get everybody to agree on a particular thing. I just hope that we should work together, never let politics go in between and just work for the people, that’s all. There’s still many people who are still trying to make it. So I just wish that people will continue to be together and work for the common good. That goes to politicians as well,” the governor added.
On Friday, the governor administered the oath of office to Gilbert Birnbrich as the CNMI’s last appointed attorney general. A few hours later, the staff at the governor’s office prepared a birthday lunch for the governor.
The following day was also a busy day for Inos. Prior to attending the 11am Saturday groundbreaking for a $130-million hotel in San Antonio, the governor was at the memorial ceremony for Carolinian Chief Agurubw at the Carolinian Utt in Garapan. Inos also was at the Let’s Move Marianas event at the Oleai Sports Complex earlier in the morning that Saturday.
A former Finance secretary and lieutenant governor, Inos’ rise to power was unprecedented in CNMI history when his predecessor, Benigno R. Fitial, resigned on Feb. 20, 2013, in the midst of impeachment proceedings against him on charges of corruption, felony, and neglect of duty.
This will be Inos’ first time to seek election as governor under the Republican Party, with Senate President Ralph Torres (R-Saipan) as his running mate.
Inos’ opponents in the gubernatorial race on Nov. 4 include former governor Juan N. Babauta, an independent; former speaker Heinz S. Hofschneider, also an independent; and former Commonwealth Ports Authority executive director Edward “Tofila” Deleon Guerrero of the Democratic Party.