Guam - Key leadership has been left vacant in the Democratic Party of Guam for a few months now and following last night's special central executive committee, the party selected Darryl Taggerty to lead the party until its August elections.
The long-time Democrat is now the acting chairman of the party. He told KUAM News, "I'm very happy to be called upon to serve in this capacity. I've been a long time democrat and a passionate Democrat, so whatever I can do to help the party I am available to do. And this was the time to step up."
During the party's special Central Executive Committee meeting Thursday night, Taggerty was appointed to the vice chairman position. According to party treasurer Carlos Pangelinan, the CEC is allowed to appoint a vice chair. Taggerty will now serve as the acting chair and has the authority to appoint a new executive director.
I didn't walk into the meeting expecting to be considered for this position, but halfway through the meeting I took the chairmanship," he confirmed.
Former party chair Carl Gutierrez resigned last year after deciding to run for public auditor in which vice chair Gloria Nelson took over the top position until her passing last October. And just this past week, Carlo Branch resigned as the party's executive director.
Taggerty will lead the party until its regular election in August and hopes to help recruit candidates for public office and present the party's message, which he says without strong leadership can get lost and obscure. "I'm very passionate about the message of the Democratic Party," he expressed, "which is that the government exists to do the bidding of the people. And it's not for special interests, it's not for a strong economy, it's not for a strong military, it is for what the people need and the people need a strong economy and the people need a strong military."
Taggerty is part of the CEC as a Tamuning representative and works as an operations and client relations manager with MCS, LLC, a telecommunications consulting company. And although he once worked for former Republican senator Jess Lujan, his allegiance has been to the democrats having worked with several powerful representatives in the community. "I worked Mr. [Antonio] Won Pat later, I worked for Governor [Ricky] Bordallo during his second term and I worked for Madeleine [Bordallo], I worked for Belle Arriola, I worked for Robert Underwood, I worked for Frank Aguon, Jr.," he iterated of his qualifications.
Taggerty meanwhile says he is consulting with party members on the short list of candidates in mind for the executive director position and hopes to choose one next week. The Democratic Party meanwhile also chose a replacement for Chris Carillo as a democratic member on the Guam Election Commission.
Carillo was fired by Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz last week after he was arrested on drug charges. Aside from being terminated he resigned from the GEC. Pangelinan says Alice Taijeron, a director of client relations and plan counseling with Great West Financial Guam, was chosen as a replacement. She previously served as a commission on the GEC.