Four term legislator joins a crowded field; Running mate to be announced in next few weeks
Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez Jr. went into campaign mode Tuesday, announcing he'll pursue the Guam governorship later this year.
Rodriguez had earlier been rumored to be former Governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez' pick as a Lieutenant Governor running mate. Gutierrez has not yet announced his candidacy or a prospective running mate.
Other Democratic hopefuls for the Adelup brass ring are Bank of Guam President and former Senator Lou Leon Guerrero and her running mate Joshua Tenorio and Senator Frank Aguon Jr, who is teamed with former U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco.
Republican Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio has not officially announced his bid for Guam's chief executive, or his selection of former Senator Tony Ada as a running mate. However, political ads with their pictures and the slogan "BOTA 2018 are widely seen on the island.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Senator Rodriguez, who chairs the Committee on Health, Tourism, Military Affairs, & Senior Citizens said heatlh care was a major issue for him.
"You've known that my passion for what I would like to do is to be able to advance health care for our people and that's something that I've done. However, when the time comes that I announce my running mate, we'll have specific details of what we plan to do when we win the election and serve in Adelup."
Rodriguez revealed only that his running mate will be male and be announced in "a few short weeks."
Rodriguez declined to criticize other candidates, Democratic or Republican, saying that he respected all of them for past service.
"I have a record. People can examine this record. I have character, they can examine my character. I've always been accessible to our people and so that is what I've been going out and offering to our people. And that is not necessarily what the other candidates will be able to offer them."
Senator Rodriguez promised that--at least on his part--it will be a very clean campaign.
"There will be no negative attacks from our campaign. This is about being the Megalahi, the governor of Guam. This campaign, my campaign, is going to be the first to show respect. The way we do that is to show respect for the candidates who are running for governor. And so we're going to go out there, put out our record, put out our plan and that's what we're going to focus on. Staying on the high road and ensuring that the specialness of our island is really upheld, and that starts with our campaign moving forward."
He predicted that despite a 16 year drought for Democrats in the governor's office, his party will win this time.