Luta Cares founder files candidacy for Rota mayor

Former DPW director for administration also seeks seat for House under precinct 5

Julie Ogo Manglona, the founder of the charitable group “Luta Cares,” filed yesterday her candidacy before the Commonwealth Election Commission in Susupe as an independent for the Rota mayoral seat.

Accompanied by supporters and family members, Manglona submitted her petition for nomination and candidacy at 2:15pm.

Armed with over 300 signatures in her nomination, Manglona was upbeat about the prospect of serving in a new capacity outside of her philanthropic works.

Manglona in an interview said friends and family have approached her to serve as an “agent for change” due to the daily struggles being faced as a direct result of Rota’s small population and geographic difficulties.

She said her biggest goal is to restore trust and confidence in the office and work with Rota’s best and brightest to bring about opportunities for the people of the island.

“I don’t claim to know it all, but will work with qualified people to upgrade facilities, streamline services, foster relationships with incoming investors, and look at finding solutions at keeping current businesses on island employing our local workforce,” she said.

Manglona is currently working as a sales consultant with Joeten Motors Co.

Lee Atalig, who is Manglona’s committee-to-elect chairman, said the people of Rota are confident in her abilities, “she means what she says and says what she means.”

“She is known for her big heart and that’s what’s needed in our leaders in this day and age,” Atalig said.

It’s a crowded mayoral race on Rota at the Nov. 6 general election. Manglona, three other independents, and incumbent Republican Mayor Efrain M. Atalig will be vying for the mayoral seat.

Atalig and Rota Sen. Steve K. Mesngon (independent) had already filed their candidacies for mayor. The two other independents—Crispin M. Ayuyu and Richard E. Taisacan—have yet to file their candidacies.

Meanwhile, former Department of Public Works director for administration Juan Cepeda Deleon Guerrero filed his candidacy yesterday afternoon as an independent for the House of Representatives under precinct 5.

Precinct 5 covers the Kagman area.

Deleon Guerrero said if elected he wants to work for the improvement of a lot of roads in Kagman.

“I like to see [road projects] to move forward,” said Deleon Guerrero, who was accompanied by his supporters and family members at CEC.

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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