San Nicolas claims party tapped Cruz to oust him

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Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas is accusing his own party of working to oust him as the island’s delegate to the U.S. Congress.

In a release issued by San Nicolas this morning, he states that Democratic party leaders met behind closed doors recently and endorsed Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz to challenge him in the 2020 election.

The delegate claims that Cruz confirmed he has accepted the call in order to “protect the position of the party.”

“Democratic party bosses have twice before called for my removal from the party,” wrote San Nicolas. “But we never let that distract us from our work and we won’t let it do so now.”

During an interview with K-57’s Patti Arroyo this morning, Cruz did not deny San Nicolas’ claims, nor did he declare himself a candidate.

The former Speaker of the 34th Guam Legislature and current Public Auditor said: “I have no knowledge of the party making a decision. I’ve told them I will consider it, yes,” adding that he has “always considered a run for delegate.”

“I’ve always left myself available to the people of Guam if they believe I can continue to serve the people,” Cruz said.

However, Cruz did not definitively say that he is a candidate and planning to run against San Nicolas for the Democratic nomination for delegate in this year’s election.

“I don’t know if Speaker Cruz will run or not,” said Carlo Branch, Governor Leon Guerrero’s Policy Director. “But I’ve known Mike since we were kids—he only lashes out when he’s scared.”

Branch said he was speaking as a democrat only and not on behalf of the party.

He went on to say “I can’t help but feel that Mike has a clear hatred for the party from which he has sought, and continues to seek nomination. He knows Our nominee is elected not selected—and while the Party endorses no candidate before the Primary, Democrats are free to find a challenger for any seat-that’s how Democracy works.”

San Nicolas: Cruz should resign

“My only hope is that B.J. Cruz resigns his office immediately because the public auditor is by law supposed to be non-partisan,” wrote San Nicolas in his release.

San Nicolas also said Judi Won Pat, another former speaker of the Guam Legislature, abruptly resigned from her position as Democratic Party chairwoman.

Won Pat was just elected Democratic Party leader three weeks ago.

READ San Nicolas’ release in FULL below:

For Immediate Release
Guam Democratic Party Upheaval

Less than three weeks after selecting new Party Officers, the recently elected chairwoman of the Democratic Party, former Speaker Judi Won Pat, has resigned.

Recently, Party bosses determined behind closed doors to remove Congressman San Nicolas, by endorsing Public Auditor BJ Cruz to challenge him in the 2020 election.

BJ Cruz has confirmed he has accepted the call “to protect the position of the Party.”

In the latter half of 2019 and into the new year Congressman San Nicolas, a Democrat, has squared off against the Democrat Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, the Democrat Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, and certain Democrat Senators, over issues like War Claims Payouts, Tax Refund Deposits, and seeking public consent before raising taxes or taking on debt.

In response to the recent actions, Congressman San Nicolas states:

“Democratic Party bosses have twice before called for my removal from the Party; we never let that distract us from our work and we won’t let it do so now. We welcome any opportunity to challenge Party politics when they conflict with what’s good for the people.

My only hope is that BJ Cruz resigns his office immediately, as the Public Auditor is by law supposed to be non-partisan, and engaging in Party politics even behind the scenes compromises the purpose of that office to serve the public good.”