Democrats announce Respicio, Underwood as party candidates - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Democrats announce Respicio, Underwood as party candidates

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Just days before its party election this weekend, the Democratic Party of Guam has announced its candidates to lead its party for the next two years featuring both a mix of new and seasoned Democrats.

Speaker Judi Won Pat says the Democratic Party of Guam's slate of party officers for its upcoming elections will provide a united front leading into next year's highly anticipated gubernatorial election. "We're able to come up with one team for the chair and vice chair will be Senator Rory Respicio and the vice chair will Dr. Nerissa Underwood," she said.

Won Pat, who is chairing the nominating committee, says Majority Leader Respicio and former Department of Education superintendent Underwood offer a diverse mix of experience and leadership skills. "He knows the ropes, he's well known in the party and he's a young man and he's a dynamic person, he can hold his own and he's a leader in his own right," said the speaker. "She's grassroots as well, she comes from a different ethnic background which also brings a wonderful mix to this because we're all inclusive, the democratic party is really inclusive."

It was last week when Senator Respicio told KUAM News he was interested in leading the party and says its not unprecedented for a sitting senator to take on the role. Won Pat in fact says it actually helps leading it's next year's election, adding, "We want to make sure this is a team that will able to support the number of to get a majority in the Legislature and of course to win Adelup as well."

And with less than a year until the gubernatorial election, no Democrat has yet to officially declare a run for governor. Won Pat says it doesn't mean the party won't come out strong and it's simply about timing.

"It's strategy - I mean sure people always talk about money but it's not money that talks, it's knowing your people, knowing the needs of the people are and it's not so much of buying the votes, I hear that a lot from people, so those who have been there for the people no matter what and even at a time when we have not had Adelup for many years, the party remains strong," she said.

Meanwhile, John Paul Manuel is running as secretary and Coy Torres as treasurer. Won Pat says the state party officers will hold a press conference later this week with the party elections set for this weekend in the different villages on November 9 from 10am to 8pm.

We should add the Democrats hold an election every odd year. Republican Party of Guam chairman Mike Benitio meanwhile says the GOP will hold its party elections next year.

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