Cabinet heads, their deputies and senior staff of the incoming Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration, attend a training seminar on proper governmental operations. Ricky Marvin Cruz, Pacific Daily News
Guam marks another milestone when its first woman governor, Lourdes “Lou” A. Leon Guerrero, takes the oath of office late Monday afternoon in a ceremony that also celebrates island heritage.
The 15-member 35th Legislature, which has record-breaking 10 women senators, will also be sworn in on the same day at 10 a.m. along with other elected officials such as the new attorney general at 2 p.m. and members of the Guam Education Board at noon.
Kicking off the four-part gubernatorial inaugural events, estimated at $250,000, was Sunday morning’s Mass at Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Hagåtña.
Leon Guerrero, 68, will be the first Democrat to become governor in 16 years after her two Republican predecessors each had two terms.
She will be one of at least nine new and re-elected governors across U.S. states and territories to be sworn in on Jan. 7, 2019, along with Lt. Gov.-elect Joshua Tenorio.
Events expected to boost tourism economy
Dignitaries from outside Guam and around Micronesia started arriving over the weekend for Monday’s swearing in at the University of Guam Calvo Field House, where some 3,000 people are expected to attend.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on PBS.
The inaugural events are expected to boost tourism economy as hundreds are expected to arrive, with the biggest delegation coming from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
On Jan. 14, Guam officials will also be on Saipan for the oath-taking of re-elected CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres.
‘Deep symbolism, unity’
Sinajana Mayor Robert Hofmann, co-chair for the 13th Inaugural Festivities Committee, said those watching the inauguration at UOG or on television would be treated to a festive gubernatorial inauguration that’s deep in symbolism.
Hofmann said this is a historic occasion since Guam will see the first woman governor take the oath. It also marks the first time that all branches of government will be headed by women, from the judiciary to the legislature.
Unity, Hofmann said, will also be at the forefront as all living former Guam governors, whether Republican or Democrat, committed to show up at this year’s inauguration.
Tenorio, who’s also making history as the first openly gay lieutenant governor, is set to be sworn in at 4:40 p.m. with Superior Court of Guam Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena V administering the oath.
Leon Guerrero, a five-term former senator and former Bank of Guam president, is set to take the oath of office at 5 p.m. followed by her first address as governor on a red-carpet stage.
Supreme Court of Guam Chief Justice Katherine Maraman, who was also retained by voters in the November elections, will administer the oath for the new governor.
Message from Calvo
Gov. Eddie Calvo, in a message last week, offered a prayer of gratitude for all the blessings that Guam has enjoyed and prayer for guidance as the island welcomes its new leaders.
“We pray for the incoming Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration and the 35th Legislature that they continue the good work that has been started and that they are able to go beyond that,” Calvo wrote.
Calvo said his administration’s efforts over the years have ensured “the new administration faces a less difficult time than we did in 2011 — a smaller deficit, tax refunds that are being paid timely, no floating checks in the bank, accounts that are mostly within the 90-day range, more ambulances, fire trucks, more police vehicles, police officers making a move competitive wage, roads aren’t just being fixed.”
The inauguration was initially planned to be held at Plaza de España in Hagåtña as has been the longstanding tradition, but uncertain weather conditions as of Jan. 1 led the committee to use the backup plan of holding the event at the UOG Calvo Field House.
Leon Guerrero will lead a flag-raising ceremony Tuesday morning at Adelup, where she will also administer the oath of office to her Cabinet.
The new governor will also host the inaugural ball, which will be held on two nights, Friday and Saturday, at Dusit Thani Guam, and all the $100-per-person tickets have all been sold out.
Reporter Haidee Eugenio covers Guam’s Catholic church issues, government, business and more. Follow her on Twitter @haidee_eugenio. Follow Pacific Daily News on Facebook/GuamPDN and Instagram @guampdn.
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