Following the results of the runoff election on Nov.25, 2022, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Sen. Vinnie Flores Sablan (R-Saipan) issued the following statements:
By RALPH DLG TORRES
Special to the Saipan Tribune
This election certainly has been a wild ride and, on behalf of Sen. Vinnie F. Sablan and our families, we want to thank the many individuals who devoted so much to our campaign. Our hearts are full of love for all of the supporters who rallied behind us and our party. Words can never fully capture the appreciation we feel to all those who put their time, effort, and hearts into this election, but we want them all to know that they will always have our love and respect for their good, honest, and amazing work over these past months.
I want to also send my appreciation to the staff and leadership of the Commonwealth Election Commission, who conducted a free, fair, and open runoff election despite the short window for preparation. We have received the numbers over the weekend, and the CNMI will see its newest governor take this honorable position in January.
I have spoken with governor-elect Arnold Palacios over the weekend, and we shared a good, honest, and lighthearted conversation about our campaigns, our relationship, and the path forward for our Commonwealth. He and lieutenant governor-elect David Apatang ran a hard campaign, but through it all, come January when Gov. Palacios takes his oath of office, he will be my governor and I will give him the respect both he and the position deserves.
That is what democracy is about. In elections there arises divisions as we put our names forward to do the incredibly difficult task of leading our islands, but when the people speak and place their confidence in an individual to serve, we must respect their voices, join together, and continue to work to bring our islands forward toward prosperity. The future we worked so hard to achieve demands nothing less.
Sen. Vinnie and I ask all of our supporters to extend your talents and hearts to this new cause of serving our community with one spirit and heart. Unity and a common purpose for a brighter Commonwealth is what is needed in the years ahead. There will be challenges, just as there have been over the course of my administration, and I know firsthand how important it is that we join together to address them. I have faith that governor-elect Palacios will take the responsibilities of this position with honor and dignity, and I will do whatever I can to ensure he can continue the work we began together four years ago.
Looking back over my time as governor only fills me with joy and appreciation. For every challenge we faced, there were more signs of hope. We made it through some of the most difficult times our islands have faced and came through it all stronger. I will be forever grateful for the friendships, memories, and partnerships we have built. Serving you in this community has been the opportunity of a lifetime and has been one that has made me a better, more resilient, and more compassionate person.
We want to once again thank the thousands of supporters that gave us their vote of confidence across Saipan, Tinian, Rota, the Northern Islands, and those abroad, and thank you to all who call the CNMI home for what you all do individually to make these islands a better place.
I am looking forward to a smooth transition of government, and I am also looking forward to spending time with my family and children in the months ahead. I have been governor for seven years and with all the accomplishments we have made as a community over this time, my children and my wife Diann have made incredible sacrifices to make it possible for me to do this important job. I am excited to have more time to be a father, a husband, and a proud resident of this great Commonwealth in the years ahead.
Sen. Vinnie and I embrace the results of this election and the strength of our democracy. With gratitude in our hearts, and with faith that God will guide our islands forward, we mark the close of our campaign with the same spirit that propelled us forward these past months—love for these islands, love for our community, and love for all the people that care for our Commonwealth. Thank you.
Hun sen guiya hamyo todos taotao Marianas.
By VINNIE FLORES SABLAN
Special to the Saipan Tribune
I am deeply humbled by the outpouring support that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and I received during the general election and well into the runoff. Before I go any further, I would like to first and foremost like to thank the Lord for his unending love and guidance in my life. This is the direction He led me to, and therefore, I will embrace it because I know that this is what He has planned for me.
I would like to thank our GOP family for entrusting and believing in my ability to run under this party for the lieutenant governor seat. I have gained much more than just friends with this amazing team; I have gained a family. We couldn’t have gotten this far without your commitment, untiring and unending support, but our work doesn’t end here. We will continue to do what is best for our people and this great place we all call home—the CNMI.
I would also like to thank each and every one who came out and exercised their right to vote, especially those who stood by us and believed in the Torres-Sablan leadership. Your faith and support mean so much to me. I am deeply humbled.
To governor-elect Arnold Palacios and lieutenant governor-elect Dave Apatang, I have the utmost respect for you both and wish you the best of luck during your tenure as governor and lieutenant governor. It has been quite a journey, but nonetheless, the work must go on, and we must continue to do great things for our people and our Commonwealth.
This campaign season has come to an end, and it is now time to heal and come together to rebuild the relationships that may have been broken. Although our wish was that it didn’t happen, it was evident that our community was divided. Therefore, please take this time to mend things, because this is the only way that we can move forward.
This is our home, these are our lands, we are one, let’s move forward together because together, we really are stronger.