With Guam Delegate Michael San Nicolas back home on Guam, his Democratic challenger, Dr. Robert Underwood, is welcoming him back and saying he is ready to debate San Nicolas anytime on various issues concerning Guam.
“I certainly hope that there is still a chance for another debate or forum. And I’m glad to welcome him back. It’s been almost eight months since he’s been here, and of course he could have returned at any time. He’s given various reasons why he couldn’t be here. But CNMI Delegate Kilili Sablan has been home for several months,” Underwood said.
According to Underwood, territorial delegates nowadays have a slightly different role in Congress and almost all the legislation is negotiated except in some instances.
“Like, I think, Kilili Sablan was able to insert elements, unique to the CNMI in many bills passed in Congress,” Underwood said, insinuating that San Nicolas wasn’t able to do the same.
He added: “Participating in forums, debates, being able to compare and contrast ideas and ideals and demonstrate the understanding of the workings of Congress, and just looking into the eyes of someone and seeing what they have to offer is really important.”
Ideally, according to Dr. Underwood, the non-voting delegate position should be transformed into a voting delegate position as soon as possible.
“Guam’s representative should have a full vote, and I will pursue that. In conjunction with other delegates, I will try to amend the Guam Representation Act which actually created the Office of Non-Voting Delegate for Guam and try to amend that. I’m sure there will be constitutional implications so it’s a massive effort, but I remain fully committed to that,” Underwood said.