21 Nov 2018
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THREE incoming Republican members of the 21st Legislature are vying for House speakership. They are Vice Speaker Janet Maratita of Precinct 1, Saipan delegation chairman John Paul Sablan of Precinct 2, and Rep. Blas Jonathan Attao of Precinct 3.
The GOP won 13 of the 20 House seats. It also won the gubernatorial election, four of the six open Senate seats and three of the four mayoral races.
In an interview on Tuesday, Vice Speaker Janet Maratita said she is hoping to make history by becoming the CNMI’s first female House speaker.
For his part, Saipan delegation chairman John Paul Sablan said he has already proven his leadership as head of the CNMI’s largest legislative delegation.
Rep. Ivan Blanco of Precinct 3 was also interested in the speakership, but he said he will instead support Rep. BJ Attao.
“We, the five Republican Precinct 3 representatives, entered into a gentlemen’s agreement that we would select among ourselves a candidate for the speakership. We unanimously selected Rep. BJ Attao to be our candidate for the post. We welcome the other members to join us,” Blanco said. “We look forward to working with the leadership and members across the aisle to rebuild our homes, businesses and speed up our recovery.”
Blanco said Attao needs the support of seven of the 13 House Republicans to secure the speakership. “There’s five of us already so we need just two more.”
The other Precinct 3 House Republicans who will serve in the 21st Legislature are Rep. Frank Dela Cruz, Rep. Jose Itibus and former Rep. Ralph Yumul.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/108992-3-eye-house-speakership