Seeking to solidify its efforts to become Guam’s ruling party, the Democratic Party has asked Sen. Frank Aguon and his running mate Alicia Limtiaco to “denounce” the write-in campaign initiated by two political action groups.
The party’s officers wrote to the Aguon-Limitiaco team on Sunday, asking that they join “our growing effort to retake Adelup for the People of Guam, expand our legislative, majority, and return a Democrat to Congress.”
The Guam Citizens for Public Accountability and the Guamanians for Fair Government last week launched a write-in campaign endorsing the Aguon-Limtiaco ticket, who narrowly lost to the Lou Leon Guerrero-Josh Tenorio team in the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial primary.
“The primary election process has been taken over by the political parties, to the extent that the only choices we have to select from as voters are those that successfully negotiate the political party process,” the GCPA and GFG said in a joint statement during their launch of the write-in campaign following Aguon’s failed bid for a manual recount of primary results.
Former Gov. Carl Gutierrez and Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, landing third and fourth, respectively, in the primary, have since conceded and endorsed the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio team, who will be facing off with the Republican Party’s standard bearer Lt. Ray Tenorio and Tony Ada on Nov. 6.
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Gutierrez, who served two four-year terms as governor from 1995 to 2003, was the last Democratic governor to sit in Adelup. With Democratic all-timers out of the legislative race, the people's party's hold on the majority in the 35th Guam Legislature is uncertain. The congressional seat is likely to be a tight race between Democratic senator Michael San Nicolas and his Republican opponent, former public auditor Doris Flores Brooks.
“In the days since the primary election supporters from every gubernatorial team have come together in recognition of these mutual goals. From one village to the next to those who worked to 'Make Guam, Guam Again,' 'Make it Your Time' — and yes even those who 'Believe' are bound together by the same values that unite all Democrats — everywhere — a simple but powerful idea: The Party of the People is strongest when we bring our People together,” Democratic Party’s leaders wrote in their letter to Aguon and Limtiaco.
The party reminded Aguon and Limtiaco that they were signatories to the Unity Pledge, which stated in part: “Should I not be successful in the primary election, I pledge not to run as a write-in candidate nor to encourage any of my supporters to sponsor any such write-in movement. And should such a write-in movement begin, I shall forthwith publicly repudiate it."
The Aguon-Limtiaco team has yet to respond to the Democratic Party’s letter.
In an earlier statement, however, Aguon said, “I don’t recall any part of the pledge that says it is more important than the people. I think using that excuse to deny the people and voters of Guam a lawful choice in their election is wrong.”
He said his team was “bombarded by pleas from a broad range of people in our community, anxious business owners, disgruntled Republicans, unsettled supporters from other camps, and concerned citizens of all ages. They want us to continue the fight.”