Gubernatorial hopefuls go head-to-head - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Gubernatorial hopefuls go head-to-head

Posted: May 11, 2018 5:36 PM Updated:

Last week the voters of Guam got a chance to see its gubernatorial candidates go head-to-head in the first large scale debate of the election season.

Filled with supporters from all five gubernatorial camps to declare their candidacy to date. Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr, former governor Carl TC Gutierrez, former senator Lou Leon Guerrero, Lt Governor Ray Tenorio and Senator Frank Aguon Jr., took the podiums at the UOG Calvo Fieldhouse for the One Guam Gubernatorial Debate. 

One Guam is an initiative by the 2018 UOG spring semester graduating candidates for the master of public administration. The main focus of the debate was to glean from the gubernatorial hopefuls their position on the issue of decolonization. Although the format was set up as a debate -- for the most part the candidates used the opportunity to speak about their platforms on a variety of issues.

KUAM's analysts Dr. Michael Bevacqua - a member of the Independence Task Force, Adrian Cruz - with the Task Force on Free Association and former Statehood Task Force member Ron McNinch gave us a summary of the three status options.

Bevacqua said, "So to dispel some myths about independence it doesn't mean that you break ties with the united states in fact if you look at us it has  really close relationship with its former colonizer you look at around  the world what independence can be there's two ways it can be a maturing relationship with the U.S. or Guam going in a completely  different direction taking advantage of its place in Asia to capitalize with our location our connection to Asian economies and culture to really develop and economy that fits our needs and protects the culture and environment here."

Cruz said,  Independence can look similar to what we have now or it could look different depending on how we want to protect our identity and our interests here free association is a sovereign nation in a treaty relationship with another sovereign nation so it would be the country of Guam with a treaty with the united states we have to understand that our people already have a 100 year plus relationship with the united states and many people are conflicted about that, and so this is just solidifying our place in relationship with the us as equal partners rather than in a subservient position: statehood."

McNinch said, "Actually I prefer the real term which is integration its whether Guam is with the United States or not with the United States it's really a two-choice option whether with the us or not the us and that I think statehood really simply means Guam is going to be with the US."

Gutierrez and Aguon were the only two candidates who were clear that they supported the option of independence.

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