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Gov. Turnbull to have seven challengers

By John Collins (1)

"Deadline for filing in USVI passed with another team emerging; no Sept. primary for governor slate."

The August 13 deadline for filing as a candidate in the Nov. 5 general elections in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) passed with only a few changes as previously reported (CB Aug. 1).

In the race for governor and lieutenant governor, seven teams emerged to challenge Gov. Charles Wesley Turnbull and his running mate, Vargrave Richards in November. The Turnbull-Richards ticket is the only Democratic one, while the team of Michael Bornn and Arnold Golden is Republican. All the other teams are independent including that of Gerard Luz James II, the current lieutenant governor, and his running mate,  Maryleen Thomas. James ran as a Democrat with Turnbull in 1998 but declined to challenge him this time in the Democratic primary in September.

One additional team of independents emerged by the deadline filing date, that of Sen. Alicia Hansen of St. Croix and her running mate, Eddie Donoghue of St. Thomas.

Another change in the lineup previously reported was that the only Hispanic candidate, Miguel Camacho of St. Croix, withdrew his candidacy “for personal reasons.” As the deadline for filing approached he was replaced by Kelvin Gonzalez Sr. of St. Croix, another Hispanic.

Although this is the largest number of candidates to ever file for the two highest offices in the USVI, the list would have been even bigger if two other gubernatorial candidates had not previously withdrawn from the race. One was a Republican and the other an independent.

In another contest, that for USVI Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Dr. Donna Christensen, a Democrat, is being challenged by three other candidates, a Republican, a member of the Independent Citizens Movement (ICM), and an independent. Christensen, who is completing her third term, is expected to win handily.

The USVI Legislature has 15 seats and it’s a free-for-all contest to select the candidacies for them. Seven of the seats are reserved for St. Croix, another seven for St. Thomas-St. John, and the remaining seat, reserved for a resident of St. John, is selected by the voters of all three islands.

A ‘free-for-all’ in the Senate race

A total of 22 candidates, including incumbents running for reelection, filed in St. Croix of which 12 are Democrats, three Republicans, two members of the ICM and the balance of five independents.

In the district of St. Thomas-St. John a total of 23 candidacies, including incumbents running for reelection. There are 14 independents, seven Democrats and two independents.

In the contest for the At large seat from St. John, there are three challengers to the incumbent, Sen. Almando Liburd, a member of the ICM. Among the other three are a Republican, a Democrat and an independent, but predictions are that Liburd will easily be reelected. 

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1) Other articles by the well known Caribbean author John Collins can be read at:

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September 23, 2002


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