Castro will vote for Underwood in congressional runoff election

Former Congressman Robert Underwood and Sen. Wil Castro meeting in Barrigada. (Facebook photo)

Sen. Wil Castro, the losing Republican candidate for Guam Delegate, has thrown his support behind former congressman Robert Underwood.

Incumbent Congressman Michael San Nicolas topped the Guam delegate race in the general election with 13,000 votes followed by fellow Democrat Underwood at 9,300 votes and Republican Castro at 5,942.

Underwood and San Nicolas will have a runoff election on Nov. 17 because none of them garnered the requisite 50% +1 total votes.

In his Facebook campaign page, Underwood posted that Castro would support him. Underwood later issued a news release saying Castro will vote for him.

“I called Senator Castro and asked if I could see him about his platform and his ideas. He is clearly passionate about stronger regional partnerships and the need to explore unique ways to be of greater service to Guam veterans. I am committed to seeing these initiatives implemented if elected. I want to thank him for his personal time gi kusinan san hiyong,” Underwood said in his Facebook post.

Underwood added: “He is a bright and engaging statesman whose energy and ideas should be harnessed for our island’s benefit. And he told me that he was going to vote for me.”

In his own Facebook campaign page, Sen. Castro wrote that he has made his choice in the runoff election as a private citizen.

“Friends & Familia, I would like to let u know that I made a choice for the runoff. You are entitled to yours and it may be for either candidate or, frankly, for neither. Either way, to vote is your right and yours alone. Please know that I love and respect you.
I trust our people and have faith in God to best guide us forward, regardless of the outcome, as a beautiful community. God bless. -Wil,” Castro posted.

While the senator didn’t explicitly mention Underwood, he posted a photo of the two of them meeting in his Barrigada home. Castro would later confirm over NewsTalk K-57 that he is indeed voting for Underwood.

“My comments here do not reflect any party or office. They do not represent my household or my relatives. They do not reflect the campaign we ran and the new familia we now congregate as,” Castro said.

He added: “I do want to say that I respect both candidates and wish them both well. I know their records and character and leave it you to make your own decision. I will not electioneer or advertise for or on behalf of either candidate. I will however own my decision as a private citizen. Ty, be safe and happy Veterans Day.”

Guam Republican votes usually comprise about 40 percent of votes cast in any election. Although Castro and the Republicans lost in the general election, they have now assumed the role of kingmaker as the Republican vote could be the crucial swing vote in the upcoming runoff race.

However, the Republican Party of Guam has so far not commented on Castro’s Facebook post and Castro himself stressed that he is making an individual choice and not speaking for his party.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Guam unanimously adopted a motion stating that Democratic Party members are free to openly endorse the candidate of their choice. The Guam Democrats convened a special virtual meeting of the Central Executive Committee on Tuesday evening to hear from its party leaders on how best to proceed with the runoff election.

San Nicolas has issued his own statement on Castro’s support for Underwood.

“We thank Senator Castro for his service and trust he has his reasons for his decision. We encourage all of the people of Guam to vote, and to vote safely,” San Nicolas said.