At rally, breakaway candidates strongly push anti-abortion position and express anger at treatment by Guam Democratic Party
As the long expected announcement of the Sen. Frank Aguon Jr.-Alicia Limtiaco write-in effort got underway in Anigua, Sen. Aguon got huge applause as he opened with an attack on the Guam Democratic party, which had very much hoped to avoid the division of the party posed by the write-in.
“I know that being here isn’t easy for some of you. I know that the people running the Democrat party are outright mad at us. I know that many of you have been pressured, attacked and bullied on social media by members and supporters of the other campaign. We’ve been ridiculed on live broadcasts. They want us to accept politics as usual. Dirty politics, back door deals and the mudslinging and orchestrated attacks. And we’ve been told to throw in the towel, but our people continue to say no more.”
The party had relied on the signing of a “unity statement” by the Aguon-Limtiaco to avoid such an effort, but the barely 250 vote primary margin of winners Lou Leon Guerrero and Joshua Tenorio clearly continued to sting with Aguon-Limtiaco supporters who have suggested foul play by the Guam Elections Commission in its reliance on a machine recount of the vote rather than a hand recount of some 900 spoiled and otherwise questionable ballots.
Why should voters write in the Aguon-Limtiaco ticket? Aguon pitched the effort to the “everyday people” who sometimes work two or three jobs to buy groceries and put gas in cars needed to go to work and made overtures to other constituent groups such as the large Guam veterans community.
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But Aguon early made clear that the ticket was seeking to win the large anti-abortion community on the island, a pitch entirely different from stateside Democratic party positions, given that abortion rights are the present law of the land.
“Alicia and I believe in the protection of human rights for all. Most especially, the most vulnerable, all children, including our unborn. Persons with disabilities, our elderly. We like you are working class families. We’re just like everyone else who’s worried about the kind of life our kids and grandkids will have.”
And if anyone missed the anti-abortion message earlier, Aguon reprised it later, reaping huge applause:
“Make no mistake about it. My unity to the party ends, where my duty to the people of Guam begins… My loyalty of service is to a higher authority in my life that compels me to fight my best fight for the innocent and protect and defend the unborn… Do we want a leader who believes that abortion is the way to build a better community?”
Members of the crowd shouted “no.”
Aguon went on to paint banker Leon Guerrero as wealthy and out of touch with average people, largely the charge made by Republican candidate and Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio.
Limtiaco, who served as Guam's attorney general and later U.S. district attorney, emphasized the ticket had run a clean campaign, by contrast to other Democratic candidates, saying that these tactics broke any pledge of unity to the party. “To attack us as dividing the party for considering the will of our people to move forward with a write in campaign is hypocritical,” Limtiaco said.