Reviews of the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, and Palau are not included in this issue.
National and local elections featured prominently in news stories in Guam this year, as local offices and Guam’s nonvoting delegate to the United States Congress were on the ballot. The island’s incumbent, Congress-woman Madeleine Z Bordallo, faced challengers in both the Democratic primary and the general election and prevailed against both. In the September primary, the five-term incumbent faced twenty-seven-year-old newcomer Karlo Dizon (mv, 14 May 2013). Despite Dizon’s spirited campaign, Bordallo won 73 percent of the vote. Running unopposed in the Republican primary was the minority leader of the legislature, Senator Frank Blas Jr. Facing off against each other in the general election, Bordallo emphasized her experience and seniority while Blas said that he offered a “fresh perspective.” Among the campaign issues debated were veterans’ services, the proposed visa waiver for tourists from China, and Medicaid reimbursements. Blas was critical of the lack of progress in securing millions of dollars due to Guam in compensation for the impact of immigrant consumption of local government services, as provided for according to the terms of the Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands. Another major issue was the military buildup resulting from the transfer of the US Marine units from Okinawa to Guam (mv, 28 Sept 2012). As in the primary, Bordallo won the general election handily, this time garnering 58 percent of the vote.
Democrats controlled the Guam Legislature by a 9 to 6 margin going into the November elections. When election results came in, voters had again chosen a 9 to 6 Democratic majority, although one-third of the legislature was replaced. The turnover in one seat was due to Frank Blas Jr choosing to run for the US Congress rather than for reelection to the legislature. However, four other incumbents were defeated, namely, Republicans Mana Silva-Taijeron and Sam Mabini and Democrats Judith Guthertz and Adolpho Palacios. Elected as freshman senators were Republicans Tommy Morrison, Mike Limtiaco, and Brant McCreadie and Democrat Michael San Nicolas. After a two-year hiatus, veteran Senator Frank Aguon Jr was also elected. When the new legislature was inaugurated, the Democratic majority retained the leadership of Speaker Judith Won Pat, Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, Legislative Secretary Tina Muna-Barnes, and Majority Leader Rory Respicio. Senator Tony Ada was chosen by Republicans to succeed Blas as minority leader (32nd Guam Legislature website).
Although Guam residents do not have the right to vote for president of [End Page 170] the United States, they do participate in the process by sending delegations to each political party’s national convention. In August, Governor Eddie Calvo led the Republican (gop) delegation to their convention in Tampa, Florida; he supported Mitt Romney (pnc, 29 Aug 2012), whose son had campaigned in Guam earlier in the year during the heated race for the gop nomination (Politico website, 9 March 2012). Attending the September Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Guam delegation, led by Rory Respicio, supported incumbent President Barack Obama. Respicio explained that the delegation focused on promoting the island and addressing important Guam issues such as the military buildup, protecting Medicare, and access to federal programs. He also pointed out that the Democratic platform, approved in Charlotte, called for a partnership with Guam’s people with respect to military matters including the buildup, supported fair treatment in federal programs for Guam and the other territories, and recognized Guam’s right for self-determination (pnc, 6 Sept 2012).
Another 2012 campaign that received a great deal of attention was the race for the nonpartisan position of public auditor. Since its creation twelve years earlier, the post has been held by incumbent Doris Flores Brooks. In the run-up to the primary, Brooks had no opponent and reportedly lobbied the legislature to cancel the primary election for that office. This prompted former Governor Carl T C Gutierrez to launch a write-in campaign for the primary election in hopes of securing a spot on the...