Running mate to be announced later
Citing his desire to move the Commonwealth forward in recovery and prosperity, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres confirmed yesterday he will be seeking a second term in the November 2022 CNMI gubernatorial election.
Torres told Saipan Tribune last night that there’s no official word yet at this point as to who will be his running mate.
“We’ll have an announcement at a later date,” the governor said.
In December 2015, Torres, who was then the lieutenant governor, was sworn in as governor when Eloy S. Inos died. In 2018, he was elected governor with overwhelming votes. At 41, he is the youngest incumbent governor in the United States.
Torres said in a statement that his other reason for running again stems from his belief in the people of the Marianas. “We have come too far to abandon the progress we made in the face of unprecedented disaster for our islands and our world,” he said.
Torres said before Super Typhoon Yutu and Typhoon Mangkhut and the COVID-19 pandemic, the CNMI had a strong economy built on sound and thoughtful policies that prioritized the creation of jobs for everyone on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. He said they were reducing deficits, paying longstanding obligations, and helping business community develop new opportunities for entrepreneurs to reach their dreams and that they were just getting started.
“Nothing could have prepared us for what was to happen last year as every economy in the world was down and people were losing loved ones to a deadly virus,” Torres said.
Despite the challenges, the governor said, he made sure that they kept the CNMI safe by making decisions to protect loved ones, the man’amko [elderly], the people with chronic diseases, and the manhoben [youth].
Torres said that, by being proactive, the CNMI is one of the safest places in the world from the pandemic, and that the CNMI will be among the first Pacific Island areas to bring tourism back, which brings back businesses and jobs for the people.
The governor said he has heard in his conversations with people and families in the villages stories of pain and uncertainty because of the global economic crisis. “As governor, I feel that pain every day, and it encourages me to work harder for our people,” he said.
Torres said in going through this most challenging period of existence, he is inspired by the resiliency of the CNMI’s people to weather the difficulties and challenges as one strong Marianas.
He said they have secured federal funding and signed agreements to slowly reopen the economy. “With the support of all our partners and stakeholders, including the federal government, I am encouraged by the overwhelming support with our work to get the CNMI back on its feet,” the governor said.
Torres said his desire to seek a second term is driven by everyone in the Marianas. “In a community like ours, what happens to some of us happens to all of us, so we join together with compassion, and determination to build a community stronger than we have ever been before,” he said.
Torres said the CNMI has to move forward to the future that they have planned right before the typhoons and pandemic. “It is a future where our community is thriving, our students are succeeding and coming home to serve, our man’amko are cared for, and our villages are safe for our kids to grow and become leaders one day. We will always and forever be Marianas strong,” he said.