Sen. Louise Muña announced her withdrawal from the senatorial race, leaving Guam's Republican Party with a full slate of 15 candidates in the Aug. 29 primary.
“After much consideration, I have decided not to move forward with my campaign. I know that there will be much speculation as to why the sudden change of heart," Muna said in a statement Friday. "To put it simply, I have other opportunities that I would like to explore and I feel now is the time.”
Muna figured in a controversy after applying for unemployment benefits under the federal government's Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
In an earlier with K57’s Patti Arroyo, Muna explained that in addition to being a full-time senator she also has several singing gigs at local hotels and establishments; she also teaches at local gyms. Since everything shut down with Covid-19, she lost that extra income.
Despite making an annual salary of $55,000, Muna said the loss of income affected her overall take-home pay. She later admitted she made a mistake by applying for unemployment benefits and cancelled her application.
Muña is at the tail end of her second term in the Guam Legislature. She has introduced numerous bills regarding health related issues, most focused on the affordability and accessibility of cancer treatment/screening. Most notable of her accomplishments was the law permitting home cultivation of marijuana for pain management since medicinal marijuana was not implemented.
Even though she will be leaving her position as senator, Muna said her public service continues.
“Before being voted in as Senator, I have always been active in the community organizations such as Make-A-Wish Guam & CNMI, Guam Cancer Coalition, Guam Harmony Lions Club, Soroptimist International of the Marianas, and many other organizations that I continually donate my time to," she said.
"Public service is part of who I am and will always be. I would like to thank everyone that has supported me throughout these 2 terms. You are more than supporters; you are also my friends and part of my family. "