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  • By Joseph Meyers

So close, yet so far

Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to buy something, such as a pair of pants that cost $39, and all you’ve got is cash — worth $36.40? You’re only $2.60 short! There’s gotta be some extra money in my pockets! You empty everything out, pulling out those lint-covered nickels and dimes and then recount all of your money in front of the cashier. Now you’ve got $36.44 but still not enough. Now the lady behind you comes to the rescue, picks up your item and rings it up with her own banking card, and you’re left holding a few seemingly useless bills.

That must have been how Frank Aguon Jr. and his running mate, Alicia Limtiaco, felt during the recent Democratic primary for governor. “Only missed it by 256! Can’t we count it one more time, this time by hand?”

Yep, it’s definitely how they felt.

Well, despite Typhoon Manghkut’s best efforts to delay the certification of the primary election for governor of Guam, the results were certified only a day late on Sept. 12. Local banker Lou Leon-Guerrero and Joshua Tenorio have been declared winners in the primary and, therefore, are the official Democratic Party’s nominees for governor and lt. governor in the Nov. 6 general elections.

The drama doesn’t end there though — will be back to that in a minute.

Speaking of Tenorios, I can only imagine some in the Republican establishment kicking themselves just a little for not having primary challengers to the incumbent candidate, Ray Tenorio on the Tenorio-Ada ticket. Ok, they are kicking themselves a lot after the “gun grabbing” incident on July 7 involving the lt. governor and police officer Carl Cruz. While the details are totally disputed, no one is disputing that Tenorio did grab the officer's gun at the Pleasure Island Block Party on July 7 and that it was not acceptable.

For now, we have to let due process take its course. Charges have been filed against Tenorio.

And it seems both sides have “doubled down” on the narrative of what happened that night, in “a series of unfortunate events.” (Apologies to Lemony Snicket.) Both sides have accused the other of politicizing the issue. It’s a mess. A mess that may have been less complicated had there been a primary opponent running against Tenorio for governor. So, the GOP kind of locked themselves in here —like a gun in a holster—and was forced to defend their candidate. They are crossing their fingers, hoping it wouldn’t be a deal breaker and that the GOP won’t end up looking like the “Grabbers of Pistols” instead of the “Grand Old Party.”

Ahh, but then whispers on social media started about a “write in” possibility for Frank Blas Jr. for governor. Actually beyond whispers, since Frank Blas Jr. actually said he was approached to run as a write in candidate by unnamed party officials. But officially, the officials aren’t supporting a write in ticket — yet.

Nothing could make the Leon-Guerrero camp more excited. Because — going back as I promised to that side of the race — there already has been a write-in campaign being pushed for Aguon-Limtiaco, triggering a headache for that party and a possible “splitting of the democratic vote.” Presumably, this is because the primary was so close, and it’s pretty painful to lose so much when you’re so close. But, come on. Does anybody believe Frank Aguon Jr. can win as a write-in candidate in a general election when he couldn’t even win a primary when he was actually on the ballot?

Sometimes you need to throw in the towel. That’s what the “Unity Pledge” was about, right? Unless Lou Leon Guerrero starts grabbing firearms or has some other big scandal, it’s time to hang it up.

As for the general election and those $39 jeans? I will be headed to Ross on Nov. 6 with my $36.44.

Joseph Meyers is a longtime Guam resident.

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