AG Rapadas files candidacy for reelection - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

AG Rapadas files candidacy for reelection

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas officially filed his candidacy today with the Guam Election Commission.

Surrounded by family and friends this afternoon during his lunch break, Rapadas officially filed his candidacy seeking a second term as the island's attorney general. "I decided to run again because even though we've done a lot in the past four years and we have done quite a bit. We still have a lot more to do," he said.

The island's third elected AG says some of that unfinished business includes working more with the schools and of course, the victims of crimes. "And we have had one of the hardest and strongest last couple of years on trial we're getting a lot of the criminals put away we still have a number of people out there who still want to not obey the norms of society," he said.

And while he's seen the success of several convictions, Rapadas says he continues to face challenges from funding and sometimes not seeing eye-to-eye with lawmakers and the administration. "We've both had our disagreements but I think that's the nature of the position of being attorney general is if there's disagreements, then so be it my position is charged with following the law and if I see the law isn't being followed even by the legislature or by the administration, that's something that I need to let them know on strongest terms," he said.

But it doesn't mean he can't work with them. In fact, Rapadas says a lot of his success comes from collaborating with lawmakers on valuable legislation such as the Family Violence Registry and the Child Abuse Task Force. Rapadas meanwhile is the only candidate so far to pick up a packet and officially file for the non-partisan race. According to the Guam Code Annotated, the Office of the Attorney General will be on the ballot in the primary election even if he's the only one running. The top two vote getters will then move on to the general election. But what about other races that go unchallenged in the primary?

He said, "Based on the new reform law, there will still be a need for the primary election."

Executive director Maria Pangelinan says in the old law, there was a section in the code that said primary elections can be cancelled when there is no contest for instance in the gubernatorial or senatorial race. "The new law is absent of cancellation of the primary the whole section on cancellation was deleted in the new law," she said.

She says after the election reform law went into effect in 2012, her staff reviewed the law and were caught by surprise noting the differences which her legal counsel further confirmed. "The commission will be saving if we don't have a primary on the other hand there may be an advantage to the primary, we'll go through it and especially with the machines, we can go through it and fix the hiccups before the big general election," she said.

She estimates the cost for the primary election to be around $350,000 inclusive of the increases stipends for precinct officials. The deadline meanwhile to file your candidacy with the GEC is July 1.
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