Guam – Whether or not they’re still the two may depend on who you talk to. But ever since last Friday night, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s cabinet-level appointments of former Gov. Carl Gutierrez and former Lt. Gov. Madeleine Bordallo have been fueling speculation about how these two outsized names might fit into the freshly sworn-in Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration. Yet if their new bosses’ high praises are to be believed–and their own records are to be regarded–Gutierrez and Bordallo could wind up fitting in just fine.
Should their warm receptions during inauguration night have offered any further clues, it might have been supposed that their appointments were expected, especially following two months of rumors. Call it political payback or a call to action for two accomplished public servants—it could be a bit of both.
Carl Gutierrez and Madeleine Bordallo: if these veteran politicians’ long track records of trials and achievement, of challenges and “lessons learned”, are any indication of their capacity to serve at Gov. Leon Guerrero’s pleasure, then the evidence suggests each will know their place.
While Gutierrez himself has been, at turns, unconventional and controversial, and Bordallo has remained traditional yet resourceful, both of these pro-business conservative Democrats have managed to remain within the constraints of campaign expectations, elective powers, and honors and appointments spanning five decades.
For Bordallo as First Lady, then Senator, then through a failed bid for governor, back-to-back wins as Gutierrez’s running mate and lieutenant governor, followed by 16 years of uninterrupted service as a Congresswoman in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gutierrez first served as senator, then Constitutional Convention President, failed in his first and second gubernatorial attempts, while working his way up to speaker and ways & means chairman in the local legislature, then finally served eight consecutive years as governor. He lost to Lou Leon Guerrero in the Democratic gubernatorial primaries in August.
During last week’s inauguration at the University of Guam Calvo Field House, Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio shared his deep appreciation for the 1995 to 2003 Gutierrez-Bordallo Administration, under which Tenorio served.
“I want to thank all of the previous governors and lieutenant governors for their collective work that has brought Guam to this point, especially Gov. Carl T.C. Gutierrez and Lt. Gov. Madeleine Z. Bordallo, who I served as Deputy Chief of Staff 20 years ago,” the new lieutenant governor said.
Tenorio is also quoted in Friday’s formal appointments announcement.
“Having served in the Gutierrez-Bordallo Administration, I am honored to once again have the opportunity to work with former Gov. Gutierrez and former Congresswoman Bordallo. Both have been great role models in my life and I look forward to demonstrating the same commitment to public service as we usher the return of Democratic leadership to our island,” he said.
Gov. Leon Guerrero called Gutierrez and Bordallo “points of light in our island’s history of public service,” saying, “I am humbled by their willingness to serve in our administration.”
Gutierrez will now serve the Leon Guerrero Administration as Senior Advisor on Economic Development, National and International Affairs.
Bordallo will serve as Washington, D.C. liaison.
Gutierrez and Bordallo both endorsed the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio ticket heading into Lou & Josh’s general election victory.
“Let our journey to restore faith in our future begin now! God bless you all and God bless Guam! Thank you!” Leon Guerrero exclaimed in closing her inaugural address.