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Gutierrez/Gumataotao in 2014?

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Decision 2014 is heating up as it appears the Republican party may have a challenger for this year's gubernatorial race as a group calling themselves "The People's Movement" picked up a packet for former governor Carl Gutierrez and Attorney Gary Gumataotao.

"And of course we're happy because we will have a candidate," said Benny Rosalin. The Democrat and former candidate for Piti was one of several supporters this morning on hand to pick up a gubernatorial packet for Gutierrez to run with Gumataotao in this year's election. While several names have been surfacing for some time, the party has yet to officially announce a team - less than one month away from the filing deadline.

Former Democratic Party of Guam secretary Julie Mayo is part of the people's movement and says she is confident they will succeed in collecting the 500 required signatures. She told KUAM News, "We may be silent about everything, but we do have people who are concerned and we still want to have our candidates to make our move, the move so this is what we're here for is to let the people know that we are the people movement group and the supporter for the democratic party, gubernatorial candidate."

Gutierrez did not answer any of KUAM's calls today. Gumataotao did answer our call but did not want to confirm or comment on the possible run. And while Gutierrez has yet to formally accept, Rosalin says the former governor is aware of the movement, saying, "It takes time, he's definitely thinking about it, but eventually, the governor make up his mind because the people always call him up, wherever he goes, the party, they always talk about it and I believe the people wants him."

One person you will not see supporting this possible ticket is Piti mayor Vicente "Ben" Gumataotao - the Republican mayor who is also the father of Attorney Gumataotao.

The elder Gumataotao said, "(Gary) called me Monday before yesterday that he's going to run for lieutenant governor. I asked him with who? And he told me Carl Gutierrez, I said oh come on, I said don't you know they're using you, you're not going to win the election, why are you going to run?"

Gary Gumataotao as you recall had previously ran unsuccessfully for attorney general and senator under the Democratic ticket. The mayor says he would not support his son's possible bid this time around as he favors a second term for Governor Eddie Calvo. "This is politics," he said, "and we put this aside and I'm just telling him that he's wrong on this area. Other than that, he's still my son, I love him, I love all my children and that's it - but I cannot support him, if he's asking me."

And while KUAM spoke with Mayor Gumataotao before The People's Movement picked up the gubernatorial packet, he says he wouldn't sign the Gutierrez/Gumataotao petition, as Calvo's petition already has his signature. "Well, Governor Gutierrez and I are just like brothers too," he said. "I'm not doubting him, but for political wise, he's already experienced eight years. I don't know why he's still running but I pity him for that reason, maybe he wants to run I talked to the governor way back over six months ago and I told him and he asked me to endorse him, I said I cannot because I like you as an individual but not as a governor."

Democratic Party chairman Rory Respicio today says the people's movement is encouraging and is "a great demonstration of democracy in action and a growing grassroots movement to offer a real alternative to the current administration." He says the party leadership is confident that it will have a strong gubernatorial team many can rally behind.

The Democratic Party of Guam is scheduled to meet this Thursday at 6:00pm at the Sinajana Community Center.
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