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Republicans choose Legislative leadership

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It's official for the GOP leadership over at the Legislature. After one day behind closed doors in caucus, Republican senators have chosen their leadership for the incoming 35th Guam Legislature. And while incumbent freshman Senator Wil Castro may have secured the coveted role of Minority Leader, Republican Party Chair Jerry Crisostomo says Castro isn't the right man for the job.

"I was hoping that the Minority leadership would've chosen someone that was more senior and someone that was a top vote getter," Crisostomo said.

And just who would that be? Crisostomo said incumbent and current Minority Whip Senator Mary Camacho Torres - the most senior Republican senator and the party's top vote-getter, was the obvious choice. And the top dog of the GOP adds with a female Governor and female-majority Legislature, it would have made perfect sense for Torres to be the Minority Leader.

"This is the first I'm hearing that he would've preferred to have Mary as the Minority Leader," Castro said. "But I can tell you this - in the Republican caucus it's more women than men, so I'll be taking my cue from a majority of women. But it is an important consideration. It was discussed in terms of having a woman lead the Republican caucus - but like the issue of seniority, gender was not the determining factor."

Senator Lousie Muna will be the assistant minority leader, Senator-elect Telo Taitague - a former one-term senator, will be the Minority Whip. Senator-elect Jim Moylan will be the assistant minority whip and Senator Torres - who according to Crisostomo attended several Lou and Josh campaign events, is listed as a "minority member."

Castro said if being top-vote getter means you are a shoo-in as a Legislative party leader like Crisostomo says, then Castro says he should be entering his second term as minority leader. "I probably should've been minority leader last election - I was the top Republican vote-getter," Castro said.

This election, though, saw Castro finish 12th and in an interesting twist, the top two Republican vote-getters hold the bottom two leadership positions for Republicans.

Crisostomo said this is proof there is a major rift in the GOP - between Calvo/Tenorio loyalists and supporters of former Governor Felix Camacho.

Meanwhile Castro does admit he wasn't the only one gunning for the minority's top spot. "I wasn't the only one who wanted to be the Minority leader, and of course it was a healthy discussion," Castro said.

We asked Castro for more details. "The rule of the caucus is that we don't get into the details of the caucus," he said.

Meanwhile Democrats are still finalizing their leadership roles but as we reported according to Joe San Agustin, former Senator Tina Muna Barnes is positioned to hold the speakership, with the vice speaker slot going to Telena Nelson.

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