U.S. lawmaker Rob Bishop (R-Utah) has thrown his support behind Rep. Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan) as the CNMI’s delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the latest ranking GOP leader to back Demapan’s congressional candidacy.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R-California), and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana)—all Republican Party leaders—and National Republican Congressional Committee chair Steve Stivers endorsed Demapan’s candidacy earlier this month.
Bishop is best remembered for introducing in the House the NMI Workforce Act of 2018 that was signed by President Trump in late July. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) had introduced a similar bill in the U.S. Senate but it had to be re-introduced in the U.S. House since it has a revenue-generating section, which means it has to originate from the House.
Bishop said he’s been impressed with the CNMI, based on his previous meetings with Demapan. “I recognized that he [Demapan] reflects the same qualities of the high-caliber people found in the CNMI and would represent them well in Washington, [D.C.]. I have no doubt that [he] would be a strong voice for the CNMI in the [U.S.] Congress.”
Bishop visited the CNMI early this year as part of a U.S. congressional delegation.
Demapan, who is challenging incumbent Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP), thanked Bishop’s endorsement, saying that he was given the chance to work closely with Bishop when the Utah lawmaker was working on the NMI Workforce Act that was a big help to the CNMI’s economy.
“He is a great friend of the Commonwealth and has offered to continue being of help to the [CNMI]. I believe this is important…” said Demapan. “…With a Republican White House over the next two years and signs that Republicans will maintain control of Congress, we have a tremendous opportunity to work with chair Bishop on better Medicaid benefits by electing a Republican from the CNMI.”