Carlos Camacho

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This article discusses the former Governor of Guam. For the former Northern Mariana Islands governor, see Carlos S. Camacho. For the Colombian actor, see Carlos Camacho (actor).
The Honorable
Carlos G. Camacho
Carlos G. Camacho.jpg
1st Governor of Guam
In office
January 4, 1971 – January 6, 1975
Lieutenant Kurt Moylan
Preceded by Himself (civilian)
Succeeded by Ricardo Bordallo
7th Appointed Governor of Guam
In office
July 20, 1969 – January 4, 1971
Preceded by Manuel Flores Leon Guerrero
Succeeded by Himself (elected)
Personal details
Born Carlos Garcia Camacho
(1924-11-16)November 16, 1924
Agana (now Hagåtña), Guam
Died December 6, 1979(1979-12-06) (aged 55)
Tamuning, Guam
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lourdes Duenas Perez
(1955–1979) (his death)
Children 7 (including Felix Perez Camacho and Mary Camacho Torres)
Alma mater Aquinas College
Marquette University

Carlos Garcia Camacho (November 16, 1924 – December 6, 1979) was a Guamanian politician and member of the Republican Party. He served as the first elected (and last civilian) Governor of Guam from 1969 to 1975.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Camacho was born in the village of Hagåtña, Guam to Felix Martinez Camacho (1893–1975) and Antonia Cruz Garcia. His siblings included Josephine Camacho Tanaka, John Camacho, Luis Camacho, and Eddie Camacho. From 1946 to 1949, he attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1952, he earned a D.D.S. degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Political career[edit]

Camacho first selected senator G. Ricardo Salas as his running mate, but his announcement that former senator Salas takes over the running mate, as Kurt Moylan for lieutenant governor. Camacho was a candidate in Guam's first election for Governor with Kurt Moylan running for Lieutenant Governor. The two running mates are Republican primary, while the Democratic primary was closely between former governor Manuel F. L. Guerrero, senator Ricardo Bordallo and attorney and former speaker Joaquin C. Arriola. After they close the primary and a contentious runoff election which is Bordallo who is defeated by Guerrero, and the general election as Camacho/Moylan defeated by Bordallo/Taitano. In the 1974 gubernatorial election, he was defeated for reelection in a re-match senator Ricardo Bordallo won the election. An election challenge by the Bordallo/Sablan campaign went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Following his unsuccessful bid for reelection as Governor, Camacho resumed his career as a dentist.

Governor of Guam (1969–1975)[edit]

At the young age of forty-four, Camacho succeeded Governor Manuel F.L. Guerrero as governor of Guam, with Kurt Moylan appointed as lieutenant governor. Camacho’s term as appointed governor lasted only eighteen months, due to the Elective Governor Act that was signed into law by the US Congress in 1968, allowing for Guam’s citizens to choose their governor. The act took effect in 1970, when Guam’s first election was held. Camacho’s term was best remembered for his Christmas 1969 visit to the troops from Guam who were fighting in Vietnam.

Camacho and Moylan's historic inauguration was held on January 4, 1971 at the Plaza de España in Agana. He uses the resources of the government to enhance economic opportunities by granting incentives through the Guam Economics Development and offering various forms of assistance to the private sector. During his entire five and a half years in office, Camacho presided over one of the largest eras of hotel construction activities on Guam, with construction finishing or starting on the Kakue Hotel, Reef Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Okura Hotel, Fujita Tumon Beach, Continental Travelodge, and Guam Dai Ichi Hotel.

Camacho also initiated massive road projects that were continued by his successors, including the widening of Marine Drive (now Marine Corps Drive) from Hospital Road north to Route 16 in Harmon, and the reconstruction of other major highways in the villages of Agat, Dededo and Tamuning, among others.

He is also credited with enticing many educated Chamorros back to Guam, to reverse what was seen as a “brain drain” at the time, including Tony Palomo, Greg Sanchez, Mary Sanchez, Tony Unpingco, Dr. Pedro Sanchez, Dr. Katherine Aguon, Juan C. Tenorio, Bert Unpingco, Ben Perez, Eddie Duenas, Joseph F. Ada and Frank Blas. Many of them took jobs with the government of Guam as administrators and later became senators. Camacho also kept on other able administrators even if they were not of his party affiliation which served to stabilize the government.

As a team, Camacho and Moylan worked to develop economic opportunity by creating incentives to attract business and encourage local participation in business. At the time Guam elected its first governor the federal government still had control over much of the island’s utilities and roads. They struggled to work toward gaining more self government and self determination.

Personal life[edit]

Camacho was married to the former Lourdes Duenas Perez, and had seven children, Carlos, including former Governor of Guam, Felix Perez Camacho, Thomas, Ricardo, Francis, Victor, and his only daughter Mary Camacho Torres is married to Supreme Court of Guam Chief Justice Robert Torres. Originally appointed in 1969, he became Guam's first elected governor the following year and served in that capacity until August 1975.

Later years[edit]

Following his defeat, Camacho return to his career as a dentist, continuing in private practice until his death on December 6, 1979 four years later, at the age of 55.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Manuel Flores Leon Guerrero
Governor of Guam
1969–1975
Succeeded by
Ricardo Bordallo
Party political offices
Preceded by
None
Republican gubernatiorial election
1970 (won)
1974 (lost)
Succeeded by
Paul McDonald Calvo