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Will the Democrats make a run at Adelup?

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Will the Democrats have a gubernatorial team for this year's election? Can the Republicans overtake the majority in the legislature? Many questions remain on how this election will fare out.

Political analyst Ron McNinch has been studying elections for years and says the biggest issue at hand that will affect Decision 2014 is the Democrats lack of ability to put forth a candidate for the gubernatorial race. "It's not too late for the Democrats to put together some teams and make a run, it's certainly not too late," he said.

Governor Eddie Calvo and Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio are seeking re-election having engaged in several village meetings. The Central Executive Committee of the Democratic Party nominated former governor Carl Gutierrez and Senator Frank Aguon Jr. to run as its team but that ticket was squashed as Aguon declined the nomination. The Democrats recently started its listening tour to get feedback but no candidate has stepped up yet.

McNinch says not having a gubernatorial team at the moment creates a net affect in allowing the democrats in the Legislature to split into pieces and risk losing their majority. "Just like you have cliques in junior high school, there are cliques within the majority in the legislature where you have the different legislators not getting along with each other that's exploited in an environment where they don't have a candidate to rally around they don't have a singular focus so this lack of focus is ultimately to the detriment of the democrat majority," he said.

McNinch notes during the Camacho administration, the Republican majority as well had its share of disagreements. He says the Democrats can still maintain a majority, but it might not be as easy of an effort then they think. As for the Republicans, he says the Republicans won't seize the opportunity because they are too new adding the older experienced members of the GOP are uninterested. But it's not to say new candidates won't make it in the legislature.

He said, "Our legislature has so many people who have been there for so long, it's become fossilized that is its been set in stone, they don't do very much and the public doesn't like fossilized legislatures they like legislature to be connected and dynamic with the community."

McNinch says a lot can happen in the next few months but says for now Governor Calvo has at least one thing going for him leading into the election - based on his surveys, Calvo for the last years has never polled below 52%. "And they've been as high as 55% but never lower than 52% you never see that with an incumbent governor in their first time," he said.

For the Democrats, McNinch says they still have a chance. "A candidate can come out in June and come out of the woodwork and be able to make a good run and maybe win and everybody, the old saw is in order to win, you have to run, well if you don't run, you can't win so that's certainly a big part of the process," he said.

And while we should know for sure in the next few months who is running, McNinch says other major issues can affect all the races including how lawmakers and potential candidates tackle several issues facing our island including crime and the effect it will have on tourism and our economy, challenges with the charter school, deportation efforts and improving federal relations.

Meanwhile, according to McNinch, it's still anyone's race as of now. Individuals can begin file their candidacy starting April 22 with the deadline by July 1. 

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