Democrats proceed without Aguon-Limtiaco

L-R: Democratic Lieutenant Gubernatorial Nominee Josh Tenorio, Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Lou Leon Guerrero, and Sen. Regine Biscoe-Lee (D) appear together at the Democratic Party of Guam's unity press conference at Lou & Josh Campaign Headquarters in Hagatna on Thursday afternoon.

With candidates ratified and ballot counts certified, the Democratic Party of Guam is moving on, with or without Frank Aguon and Alicia Llimtiaco. PNC takes you to the Election Commission’s final count and to Lou & Josh’s headquarters for a closer look.

Guam – Democratic gubernatorial primary winners Lou Leon Guerrero and running mate Josh Tenorio received a warm reception at their own campaign headquarters in Hagatna on Thursday afternoon.

Lou & Josh were fashionably last to arrive at a party unity press conference to rally candidates after the Guam Election Commission certified Aug. 25 election results on Wednesday night. The commission had also just ratified all general election candidates, then allowed them to draw numbers for ballot placement in the Nov. 6 general election.

After acknowledging Lou & Josh’s certified victory to the crowd’s cheers, Democratic Party member Jon Calvo, Jr. introduced the head of the party’s Central Executive Committee, “our chairwoman, Sen. [Regine] Biscoe-Lee.”

“Thank you, Jon, and thank you all for attending this press conference, to formally recognize all of the candidates who were certified at the GEC last night, and who advance to our general election on November 6,” Biscoe-Lee said.

For the several Democratic candidates and senior party members in attendance, the rally for continued unity remains strong, even if not everyone’s on board just yet. The undaunted mission includes (1) sending another Democrat to Congress, in the person of local senator Michael San Nicolas, who  defeated sitting Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo in the primary; (2) to retain the majority in the Guam Legislature; and (3) to retake  Adelup after 16 years of Republican rule.

After Wednesday night’s certification, many Democrats are treating gubernatorial primary winners Leon Guerrero-Tenorio as the party’s standard bearers. Noticeably absent from Thursday’s celebratory gathering were the party’s second place finishers, Sen. Frank Aguon (D) and his running mate, former U.S. District Attorney Alicia Limtiaco.

The news came swiftly Wednesday night, within half an hour of the moment Independent Election Commissioner Pat Civille began disseminating the early returns. This, while commissioners were wrapping up the tabulation of less than 150 combined absentee and provisional ballots.

“Well, we’re happy that the final count is over, and we’re looking forward—I’m hoping—to certify,” Civille said. “We’ll vote on certification in a few moments. And I’m hoping we have a unanimous vote for certification.”

Outside the ballot-counting room, political activist Ken Leon-Guerrero had been waiting to be called back in.

“Well, I think it would be very premature for them to certify election results at this time, because I received notice today [Wed.] that my hearing would be held tomorrow [Thurs.] on my complaint against the Guam Election Commission,” Ken Leon-Guerrero said.

By 9:00 p.m., however, the commission would pronounce Lou Leon Guerrero and Joshua Tenorio victorious by a margin of 272 votes.

As PNC has reported, Ken Leon-Guerrero has adamantly opposed primary election results and has filed a lawsuit to compel the commission to hand count all ballots and halt certification of the machine-counted outcome.

Leon-Guerrero’s Guam Citizens for Public Accountability and activist Andri Baynum’s Guamanians for Fair Government are leading a write-in campaign for Aguon-Limtiaco.

While Aguon-Limtiaco has endorsed the write-in fight, Lou Leon Guerrero and Josh Tenorio are moving on, still united with the party whose togetherness pledge they signed before the Aug. 25 election, thereby promising not to mount a challenge in the event of one’s own political defeat.

“And with soon-to-be-Governor Lou, we’re going to offer the people a better way,” lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Tenorio said.

“I just want to say that I’m very humbled for the GEC to come—really forward—and certify the nominees: the Democratic nominees for the gubernatorial and also for the senatorial candidates,” Lou Leon Guerrero said.

Although Aguon-Limtiaco also signed the very same Democratic Party unity pledge, neither candidate was present at Thursday’s press conference. Apparently their general election write-in effort remains intact and quickly apace.

The other two Democratic gubernatorial duos who are honoring the pledge’s tenet not to mount a write-in campaign after coming up short in the primary are the Carl Gutierrez and Fred Bordallo team and the Dennis Rodriguez and David Cruz team.

Ken Leon-Guerrero was set to attend his complaint hearing at Superior Court at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, nearly a day after primary ballot certification and just four hours after ratified candidates had already selected their placements on the general election ballot.