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Races tight in central villages

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - In the central part of Guam several of the village mayoral races were already determined in September's Decision 2012 Primary Election including the villages of Sinajana, Tamuning, Hagatna and Ordot-Chalan Pago. And for others, this is the first time they'll be challenging each other such as in Piti, where incumbent Vicente Gumataotao is challenging Democrat candidate Benny Rosalin.

They considered the early rain downpour a blessing and didn't let it stop them from waving side-by-side for votes. "It's wonderful to have this kind of election - give the other people an opportunity to get into whatever office they're trying to take. But I know I'm a winner in this one," confidently stated Gumataotao.

Rosalin added, "I feel so good and I know it's time for change and I believe I'll win this time around."

Gumataotao says he wants to finish several projects he has ongoing such as working with the USO and fixing the baseball field; whereas Rosalin hopes to bring the community together in improving the community in areas of erosion and flooding.

And in another village with a heated mayoral race that sees Republican incumbent Paul McDonald challenging Democrat candidate Jesus Salas Delgado, resident Eva Szfranski exercised her right to vote commending the candidates wanting to make a difference on Guam. "They're the ones who are brave enough with the courage to run," she said. "Some people that need to run are not brave enough to do it, I think its up to the people to make that decision."  She hopes with the military buildup, that elected officials make the people of Guam the priority along with improving the economy and the environment.

And in the village of Mangilao, Nito Blas was the only candidate on the ballot - after Raymondo Mundo stepped down. Although he tried to rescind his withdrawal, the Guam Election Commission rejected it - leaving him off the ballot. That didn't stop voters from turning out including University of Guam nursing student Aaron Agsulud, who made his way to the Field House after class and spent only five minutes in the polls. "It was exhilarating! I'm kind of stressed out trying to figure out which party I want to vote for mostly, and with the turnout of different candidates, I think it changed my perspective on certain things," he shared. He's hoping candidates will address issues in the community from education to healthcare.

Meanwhile, Asan-Maina also sees a heated mayoral race where Democrat candidate Vincent "Ben Ben" Babauta faces off against Republican candidate Joana Margaret Blas, who defeated incumbent Vicente San Nicolas in the primary.

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