FOR the past two weeks we’ve been asking our readers to focus on the candidates in this year’s election for the Guam Legislature, and today with the candidates for the Washington Delegate position.
The legislative series began Monday, Aug. 20, with incumbent Speaker Judith Won Pat, and ended yesterday with Republican candidate Roland Blas. All of the candidates appeared in the order their names will be listed on the ballot, alternating Democrat and Republican. That determination was done through a random drawing conducted by the Guam Election Commission.
All the legislative candidates were asked three questions:
- Do you think the Guam Legislature needs reform? If so, how? If not, why not?;
- What do you think the Legislature is not focusing on that it should?; and
- If elected, what will you do to enhance revenue to – and reduce costs incurred by – the Government of Guam?
We received many interesting, thoughtful responses, for which we thank all who took part.
There were a couple of inexplicable gaps. Two incumbent Democratic senators, Rory Respicio and Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz, declined to participate and simply did not respond. One, Democratic Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, answered only the third question.
Two challengers, Democrat Gary “Frank” Gumataotao and Republican William “Bill” Sarmiento also did not respond. But the rest of the 31 candidates answered our questions, and for that we sincerely thank them.
The success of any public information effort such as this depends on the openness and cooperation of the candidates. We frankly do not understand why anyone seeking public office would turn down the opportunity to get a few words into print without buying advertising. Our objective was to inform our readers so that when they go to the polls on Saturday, they will know more about all the candidates.
Today our focus turns to Delegate Madeleine Bordallo’s office and her three challengers, Democrat Karlo Dizon, Independent Jonathan Diaz, and Republican Frank Blas Jr.
We’re happy to say that all four of them responded to their unique questions:
- What specifically would you focus on in regards to the military buildup?;
- What would you do to reduce the impact of the FAS compacts on Guam?; and
- What can you do to effectively persuade the federal government to approve parole authority, or the China visa waiver, for visitors from China to our island?
You can read their responses on page two. Tomorrow we will publish a special election supplement, and of course at 7 a.m. on Saturday, the polls will open and remain so until 8 p.m. Get out and vote. It’s your civic duty.
Results will be in our Monday, Sept. 3 edition and we extend best wishes and good luck to all the candidates.