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  • By Pacific Island Times News

Senatorial bet expresses concern about voters' safety

Frank Leon Guerrero

Senatorial candidate Frank Leon Guerrero welcomed the 35th Guam Legislature’s vote against the proposed cancellation of the August primary, saying it ensures the integrity of the process that allows every vote to be counted.

However, he expressed concern about the lingering threat of Covid-19.

“The Guam Election Commission will have the opportunity to spread this out in 30 days and to develop safe practices,” said Leon Guerrero, a Democrat.

On Friday, senators voted 10-4 against Sen. James Moylan’s Bill 375-35, which would have scrapped the primary and allowed candidates to advance to the general elections in November.

“My concern is that voters, especially those who are high-risk, may be exposed to the virus. The Guam Election Commission must provide and enforce strict protocols to make each voting site safe," said Leon Guerrero, who is hoping to win one of the 15 hotly contested seats in the 36th Guam Legislature.

Leon Guerrero was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Marshal for the District Court of Guam. He then served as the Chief U.S. Marshal for the District of Guam and concurrently as the U.S. Marshal for the District of Northern Mariana Islands for the full four-year term.

As the chief marshall for the Western Pacific, he oversaw 33 marshalls and court security officers. He also led a Marianas based interagency law enforcement task force of local and federal agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Marshalls for the Judiciary of Guam and Officers from the special weapons and tactics unit of Guam Police Department.

The Marshals were given extensive authority to support the federal courts within their judicial districts and to carry out all lawful orders issued by judges, Congress, or the president.

Leon Guerrero had the privilege of providing executive security to Justice Sandra Sotomayor during her seven-day tour of Guam and the Northern Marianas.

Leon Guerrero has also been an educator. Teaching as an adjunct instructor at the Guam Community College, Criminal Justice Program. He was also a certified trainer in police defensive tactics at the Guam Police Department, and trained men and women for judicial security for Guam, the Northern Marianas, Palau, Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei. He worked in the U.S. Congress as a senior Staffer to former Guam delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo, and as a budget analyst to former senator Frank B. Aguon Jr.

Leon Guerrero said he recognizes that residents are organically adapting to a post-pandemic way of life, by way of new protocols such as social distancing and the wearing of masks. He believes that a solid and workable post-pandemic plan must be formulated moving forward to address the anticipated economic slump that Guam and the nation are experiencing by way of loss of jobs and the startup of a struggling economy and its effect on local businesses.

“There will always be challenges that are unique to our island that affect all of us, we must come together, to challenge and change the collective beliefs that may have separated some of us, growing up. We owe it to our children,” he said.

“Economically, the covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees. Now is the time to reset and to envision ways to rebuild a better future - a more just, sustainable and prosperous community. I know that I can have a positive impact by understanding how to navigate to safety during a time of crisis, by offering sound policies and deep community engagement, and I look forward to sharing my ideas with all of you.”

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