Partisanship seen in decision not to recount hard ballots
The Guam Election Commission on Wednesday night voted against the Aguon-Limtiaco team’s request for a manual recount of the Aug. 25 primary election ballots, upholding the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio team's position as the Democrat Party’s standard bearers in the Nov. 6 general elections.
The Guam Election Commission’s board voted 4 to 3, defeating Republican Commissioner Jerry Crisostomo's motion to do another recount, during Wednesday night's meeting. Crisostomo also happens to be chairman of the Guam GOP and the other commissioners voting for the recount align with that party.
The vote of GEC chairman Alice Taijeron, a Democrat, broke the tie between members who were split on the question. Joining Taijeron in voting against the recount request were Democratic Party members Joseph Mafnas and Joaquin Perez, who joined Commissioner Patrick Civille, via teleconference. Civille is a declared independent.
GEC is scheduled to certify the official results on Sept. 10.
Lou Leon Guerrero and her running mate Joshua Tenorio will face off with their Republican Party opponent Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio and former senator Tony Ada.
In a statement, the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio campaign said it is pleased with the commission’s decision. They are endorsed by former Gov, Carl Gutierrez and Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, who landed third and fourth, respectively, in the Democratic primary.
“Since the end of the primary election, the campaign has respected the Aguon-Limtiaco request to conduct a recount to ensure that the will of the People of Guam was heard and counted. That has now happened twice and both times the Aguon-Limtiaco team remained behind by 250 votes or more,” Lou&Josh team said.
“We are grateful to Governor Gutierrez and Senator Rodriguez for joining us to unify the Democratic Party,” Leon Guerrero said, “and we will continue marching forward with them to November because change is coming to Adelup.”
Two political action groups have launched a write-in campaign endorsing the Aguon-Limtiaco ticket.
“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 Guam Citizens for Public Accountability and the Guamanians for Fair Government said in a joint statement.
“Alicia and I hear you. We’re deeply humbled by the outpouring of support during this past week. But, our focus has been on the recount process at this point,” Aguon said in a statement, responding to the write-in campaign. “We are 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. Then there are the critics,” Aguon added.
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