Gov. Ralph DLG Torres praised all the candidates for deciding to run for the various elective posts up for grabs and in the process congratulated those who have either won or are on their way to victory.
The local GOP, after the counting of the ballots for early voting and last Tuesday’s midterm elections, are on their way to grabbing 15 of the 20 seats at stake in the House of Representatives while sweeping all three Senate posts. The Commonwealth Election Commission is now waiting for the arrival of all absentee ballots to finally declare a winner.
Torres said he is optimistic the local GOP will have a firm control of the Legislature. “I’m optimistic the current situation would stay the same. We have 15 from the GOP at the House. Some of the races are still close and absentee ballots will have an effect with the final outcome.”
He also thanked the community for fulfilling its civic duty. “Overall, I’m happy with the turnout and that we got a lot of people to vote. That’s all we’ve ask for, come out and vote. A lot of folks also took advantage of the early voting, including my wife and myself.”
“I would like to thank the people of the Commonwealth for exercising their right to vote. I congratulate all of the winners and thank all the candidates for their commitment to civility and public service.”
With the election over, Torres said it is now time to work to further push the CNMI forward. “The results today are a testament to the strength of our growing economy and the hope people feel for our future.”
“Two years ago, [the late] Gov. [Eloy] Inos and I, along with the CNMI Republican candidates, brought the voters a vision for our islands and asked the people for their vote of confidence. Today we see that the confidence was not misplaced.”
He is confident the leaders chosen by the people share his and Inos’ vision. “The people have spoken. The elected officials are here to represent you. I’m happy with the result but either way we are here to work for you.”
“We will be sharing the continued vision of the late governor Inos and the current administration. All elected officials want to do good things for the community, but how do we get there? We’re here to make sure we are going to work together.”
He assured the community that his administration remains committed in improving the lives of all the people in the CNMI. “Despite all the progress we have achieved together this last two years, this administration remains committed to improving the lives of all of our people throughout our islands by increasing job opportunities, supporting our private sector, working toward increased wages, and caring for the most vulnerable among us.”
“There is still much work to be done and I look forward to working alongside all members of the 20th CNMI Legislature to see the bright vision we have for our Commonwealth become a reality.”
Reps. Angel A. Demapan, Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero, and vice speaker Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero are the incumbent lawmakers who were re-elected to join top vote getter and independent bet Edwin K. Propst, the returning Janet U. Maratita, and rookie Gregorio M. Sablan Jr. in Precinct 1.
House Speaker Rafael S. Demapan and Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation chair John Paul P. Sablan will again represent Precinct 2, while press secretary Ivan A. Blanco topped the race for Precinct 3 followed by incumbents Blas Jonathan T. Attao, and Edmund Joseph S. Villagomez, as well as GOP incumbents Donald C. Barcinas, Francisco S. Dela Cruz, and Jose I. Itibus.
Gregorio Sablan Jr. and Itibus, however, are not yet assured of the seats as they each hold slim leads over independent bets Roman C. Benavente and Ralph N. Yumul. Sablan Jr. has 1,444 votes against Benavente’s 1,377 for a 64-vote lead, while Itibus is up by 41 votes over Yumul, 952-911.
Precinct 4 will have Vinson Edward (Independent) F. Sablan and Alice Igitol, while Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero (independent) and Francisco C. Aguon for Precinct 5. Edwin P. Aldan and Glenn L. Maratita, both Republicans, are ahead in Precinct VI (Tinian) and VII (Rota) races.
Rota Municipal Council chair George O. Hocog, Senate President Francisco M. Borja (Tinian), and Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar (Saipan) are also leading the Senate races.
Torres said the election is a special time for people to speak out by choosing the leaders that would steer the direction of the Commonwealth.