Democrats nominate former Rota Mayor Inos for governor

THE local Democratic Party on Friday evening announced that it has selected former Rota Mayor Joseph S. Inos to be its gubernatorial candidate in the Nov. 2018 elections.

Inos, 70, said he still needs to consult with his family. A former Republican senator and Senate president, he was elected Rota mayor in 1993 as a Democrat but was unsuccessful in his re-election bid four years later. In 2005, he narrowly won the Rota mayoral election as a Covenant Party candidate.

Inos is the brother of the late Gov. Eloy S. Inos whose running mate in the 2014 elections is the incumbent governor, Ralph D.L.G. Torres, the official candidate of the local Republican Party.

The Democratic Party central committee held a media conference Friday evening at Grandvrio Resort’s Tropicana Restaurant to announce former Mayor Inos’s candidacy.

He said he is ready to embrace the vision of the local Democratic Party which adopted a resolution stating that the current administration of Governor Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog “has amorally and selfishly exploited the solution-driven plan of the late Gov. Eloy Inos by their callous disregard of citizens’ right to clean government.”

The resolution added that of all the Republican governors who served the people of the NMI, “the late Gov. Eloy S. Inos embodied most of the principles of the Democratic Party and in order to carry on the legacy of the late governor, the party has selected his own brother to be his rightful heir as the party’s candidate for the 2018 elections.”

The resolution stated that “as a direct and approximate result of the abuses and mistrust infecting CNMI Republicans, the citizens of the Commonwealth suffered the loss of its exclusive authority to manage its immigration policies and control its own borders by an act of the U.S. Congress, Congress having lost confidence in CNMI leaders, in passing the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, as U.S. Public Law 110-229.”

The resolution added that “while the intention of P.L. 110-229 was well meaning it created dramatic unintended negative consequences, grossly impacting the ability of the CNMI businesses and the Commonwealth government to access available legitimate skilled foreign workers.”

In an interview, former Mayor Inos said although he has already made the decision to run in the November elections, he must also consult first his siblings and other members of their family.

“This is only phase one,” he told Variety. “There is still phase 2 — I need to talk to them [members of my family] and discuss my plan as well as a lot of issues, like what are we going to do and how are we going to go ahead with the plans. I would like to say this is final but not so. I need to do consultation with the family. But I am happy that the resolution embraced so many things that we long for, the many things that we have dreamed of. I would like to see what I can do and I would like to contribute. There are a lot of issues. But pretty much there has been silence, and I feel that we need to join forces. People think the CNMI belongs to Democrats, to Republicans, but not so — the Commonwealth belongs to the people of the Commonwealth.”

He said “some people are taking advantage and abusing some rights: if they have the right connections, good deal; wrong connections, bye-bye. So my platform covers everything that is in the [party] resolution, including health and education and better communications with Washington, D.C. because right now we are disengaged so we have to be reconnected again.”

Democratic Party chairman Danny Quitugua said all the members of the central committee agreed that former Mayor Inos is the right candidate to carry the party’s vision for the commonwealth.

Quitugua said their party’s central committe has 24 members: 20 from Saipan and two each for Rota and Tinian. He said they started rebuilding the party and establishing a nominating process in March 2017. Several individuals were considered and approached by the committee and among them was former Mayor Inos.

Quitugua said the former mayor meets their criteria which include experience and the ability to communicate with the community.

The party resolution stated that the list of the former mayor’s potential running-mate includes former Rep. Tina Sablan, Rep. Edwin Propst, former Education Commissioner Rita Sablan “and any other candidate recommended by the party central committee.”

Quitugua said they are “still in the consultation process” with these individuals.

Variety was unable to get a comment from Propst or former Rep. Tinan Sablan, but former Education Commissioner Rita Sablan said: “I am confident in honorable Joseph S. Inos’s leadership and I am humbled by the Democratic Party’s confidence in placing me on their short list. I know that it is Mr. Inos who will decide who his running mate will be, and I am open to have this conversation with him. The reason that I say this is because of the encouragement and support I receive from the people of the commonwealth.”

The last time the NMI Democratic Party won a gubernatorial election was in 1993.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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