Mayoral power shifts as Republicans dominate race

All four election districts to see new mayoral faces

The Republicans won control of the CNMI mayoral races on Rota, Tinian, and the Northern Islands, while an independent took over the reins of Saipan during the Nov. 4, 2014, general elections.

Based on the unofficial results posted by the Commonwealth Election Commission as of yesterday, Republican mayoral candidates Efraim M. Atalig of Rota, Joey P. San Nicolas of Tinian, and Francisco Jerome K. Aldan of the Northern Islands won in their respective municipalities.

Independent candidate David M. Apatang won over three other contenders for the position of Saipan mayor.

On Rota, Atalig won with 599 votes—87 more than Melchor A. Mendiola (Ind), who got 512. Both Mendiola and Atalig received 58 early votes.

On Tinian, it was a close call between San Nicolas and incumbent mayor Ramon M. Dela Cruz (Ind) but San Nicolas eventually bested Dela Cruz with seven more votes.

San Nicolas received 703 votes and Dela Cruz received 696. Democratic mayoral candidate David Cing didn’t stand a chance with a mere 46 votes overall.

Dela Cruz received majority of the Tinian votes, but San Nicolas received majority of the absentee votes, while both contenders were tied at 157 votes for early voting.

For the Northern Islands, Aldan won with 33 more votes then his competition, Vicente Santos Jr. (Ind). Aldan topped the precinct votes, absentee, and early votes.

On Saipan, Apatang won against three other mayoral candidates. Apatang received 4,206 votes, a 1,253-lead over the second highest vote-getter, Ramon B. Camacho (Ind). Republican bet Joseph A. Reyes received 2,062 while Democratic bet Antonio Mareham stayed in the triple digits at 862.

Apatang dominated every election district, early voting and even absentee votes.

In an interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday, Apatang said he felt great about the election results and that he is ready to serve and give his all to the community of Saipan.

“I will work hard to clean up this island and work with the administration, whoever it’s going to be and work with other departments and businesses,” he said.

Apatang’s mission is to provide community services for the people and promote culture and education through local events and programs. He will also develop and foster a community of volunteers that supports a “sustainable tourism industry” in the CNMI while preserving the cultural and environmental integrity of the island and the cultural identity of its residents.

“I am committed to the tourism industry and will serve the CNMI in the best way I can,” he said.

Apatang said he intends to work collaboratively with whoever will be elected to the 19th Legislature.

When asked about the issues that the Saipan Mayor’s Office face, Apatang said that he is very aware of what is going on.

“There have been longstanding equipment problems and I will work with the Legislature and…to help the office secure additional equipment and funding,” Apatang said.

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at

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