Gov. Ralph DLG Torres left Saipan yesterday to attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence this Friday in Washington, D.C. He will be joined in D.C. by chief of staff Matt Deleon Guerrero, CNMI Republican Party president James Ada, and local GOP national committeewoman Esther Fleming.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will administer the presidential oath of office to Trump, who will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building while Associate Justice Clarence Thomas will do the same thing to Pence.
Torres, before the inauguration, will be meeting with Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina and other Department of the Interior-Office of Insular Areas officials on Jan. 18 before they step down and make way for the incoming administration.
Torres is also scheduled to meet with members of the Presidential Transition Committee and other key GOP officials to update them on concerns and other issues affecting the CNMI.
Torres will then join Gov. Eddie B. Calvo of Guam in hosting the Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee 58th Presidential Inauguration Gala the following day, Jan. 19, at The Mayflower Hotel in D.C. Torres and Calvo are co-chairs of the advisory committee that has 34 other members that worked directly with top officials of the GOP’s presidential campaign.
The gala will be held from 6pm to 11pm where Republican Party legislators in the 115th United States Congress are expected to attend including other ranking GOP officials.
The co-chairs made recommendations to national campaign officials on what the committee had agreed on concerning Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as well as making sure the AAPI community would support the Trump-Pence ticket.
Torres, before heading back to Saipan, will meet with several key officials of the Trump administration to establish connections that would help the CNMI’s cause in raising awareness about its issues, aside from discussing his duties as the advisory council’s co-chair.
The Torres administration is also hopeful the appointment of Elaine Chao to head the U.S. Department of Transportation would help in addressing the territories’ concerns. Chao is a former member of the advisory council.
This is Chao’s second tour of duty in the federal government after becoming the first Asian American to hold a Cabinet post, serving as Labor chief in the two terms of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009.
The Torres administration in the CNMI, being the only U.S. territory that supported the Trump-Pence ticket along with the GOP-led leadership in the mainland, is also aiming to get key government posts in order to push for issues that affect the region.