Democratic Party of Guam

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Democratic Party of Guam
Chairperson Rory J. Respicio[1]
Vice Chairperson Nerissa B. Underwood[1]
Secretary John Paul Manuel[1]
Treasurer Coy Torres[1]
National Committeeman David L.G. Shimizu
National Committeewoman Taling Taitano
Founded 1961[2]
Preceded by Popular Party
Youth wing Young Democrats of Guam
Ideology American liberalism
Progressivism
Political position Center-left
Colors      Blue
Seats in the Guam Legislature
9 / 15
Villages held by Democratic Mayors
7 / 19
Website
www.democraticpartyofguam.com
Politics of Guam
Political parties
Elections

The Democratic Party of Guam is a political party in Guam affiliated with the American Democratic Party.

A majority of the members of the Guam Legislature have been members of the Democratic Party of Guam since a Special Election in 2008. The current delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives is also a member of the Democratic Party.

History of the Democratic Party of Guam[edit]

The Popular Party was the first political party formed on Guam and remained the only political party on Guam until the late 1950s, holding virtually all of the seats in the first Guam Legislatures. This dominance continued even when the Territorial Party was formed near the end of the decade and there was finally two-party competition in the electoral process. A leading figure of the Popular Party was Speaker Antonio B. Won Pat who was later elected as Guam’s first delegate to the U.S. Congress.[3]

In 1961, the Popular Party of Guam had secured affiliation with the national Democratic Party and was rechristened the Democratic Party of Guam.[2] The Democrats gained control of the Legislature in the 1966 elections and retained the majority for the next eight years.[3]

Democratic Governors of Guam[edit]

Appointed Governor Manuel F. Leon Guerrero (1963-1969)[edit]

The first local appointed Democratic Governor of Guam was Manuel Flores Leon Guerrero, who was sworn in as governor of Guam on March 9, 1963 under President John F. Kennedy. Typhoon Karen had struck Guam the previous year and shortly after Manuel F. Leon Guerrero took office, Guam was hit by typhoon Olive. The combined impact of these typhoons helped Governor Guerrero and Richard F. Taitano argue persuasively for reconstruction assistance, which came in the form of $45 million in federal funds authorized by the federal Guam Rehabilitation Act. With this federal funding, the Democratic Governor undertook large reconstruction projects, including the creation of the Kaiser subdivisions and Liguan Terrace, providing affordable housing for many Guamanians. Under Governor Leon Guerrero, Guam Economic Development Authority and the Guam Tourist Commission were established.

In the first race for elected governor, Manuel F. Leon Guerrero teamed up with Dr. Antonio C. "Tony" Yamashita, President of the University of Guam. They were challenged by Speaker Joaquin Camacho Arriola and retired Judge Vicente Bamba and team of Senator Ricardo J. "Ricky" Bordallo and Richard F. "Dick" Taitano, former Director of the Office of Territories. Guerrero/Yamashita were defeated during the primary election by Bordallo/Taitano. After the primary election, Bordallo-Taitano mounted a vigorous but unsuccessful campaign for Governor against Carlos Camacho and Kurt Moylan.[4]

Bordallo-Sablan Administration[edit]

In 1974, Bordallo teamed up with Rudolph "Rudy" Guerrero Sablan to run for Governor. They were challenged by three other Democratic teams in the primary election, including Governor Manuel F.L. Guerrero and David D.L. Flores, Pedro C. Sanchez and Esteban U. Torres, and Joaquin C. Arriola and Teodoro "Ted" Nelson. Although no longer his running-mate, Richard Taitano managed the Bordallo-Sablan campaign and broadened the organization which he had set up in 1970. This organization proved decisive, and Bordallo-Sablan overcame the other Democratic contenders.

Bordallo-Sablan defeated the incumbent Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The Republican primary challenger ran as a write-in candidate in the general election, drawing support from the Camacho-Moylan ticket.

Sworn in on January 6, 1975, Ricardo J. Bordallo was the first elected Democratic Governor of Guam. Governor Bordallo had the largest inauguration Guam had ever seen with about 15,000 people in the Plaza de Espana.[5]

The economy faced challenges with the oil crisis, which hit the world economy in 1973.[5] Shortly after Governor Bordallo took office, Guam was inundated with Vietnamese refugees under Operation New Life. The first of the Vietnamese refugees arrived in April 1975. By the end of the operation, over 100,000 Vietnamese were brought into Guam, most temporarily.[5]

In May 1976, Supertyphoon Pamela devastated the island. In Apra Harbor, ten ships or tugs were sunk, as were numerous smaller vessels.[6] The typhoon left extensive damage to military and civilian properties on the island, estimated at around $500 million (1976 USD). Trees were also uprooted throughout the island. Although Pamela was not as strong as Typhoon Karen in 1962, it proved more costly due to its slow movement. Concrete buildings largely survived the storm, but power lines and wooden structures were devastated.[6] The typhoon cut off all public utilities on the island as well as Guam's two radio stations.[7] The American Red Cross estimated that Pamela destroyed 3,300 houses and significantly damaged another 3,200.[8] Government officials preliminarily estimated that 80% of the buildings were damaged to some degree, of which half were destroyed.[7] Overall, 14,000 families sustained damage during the storm. About 300 people on the island were injured, and although the Red Cross reported three fatalities,[8] the JTWC reported only one death in Guam in the year-end report. The low death total was attributed to timely warnings and forecasts.[6]

On May 22, a day after the typhoon struck the island, U.S. President Gerald Ford declared Guam a major disaster area.[9] In September 1976, the United States Senate passed a bill that included aid for the storm victims.[10]

In response to the devastation that faced Guam in the aftermath of Typhoon Pamela, Governor Bordallo seized upon it as an opportunity to reconstruct Guam and pursue what was called a Marshall Program for Guam. Governor Bordallo outlined the issues the islands faced and proposed using approximately $290 million in federal funds for infrastructure and other projects. In a paper presented to the federal government, Governor Bordallo argued, "The lack of adequate infrastructure prevents the island from developing and attracting new sources of revenue to stimulate and broaden its economic base." He added, "The time has come to transform the consumptive and dependent economy of Guam into productive self-sufficiency. This will not occur until new industries locate on island and local productivity develops. An infusion of funds is necessary to construct an infrastructure to support such development." ... "To fully realize the economic potentials of tourism, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing transshipment, and to meet our social obligation to ensure the provision of decent, safe, and sanitary homes, the island of Guam needs assistance."[5] In total, Governor Bordallo secured about $367 million in federal funds to Guam. Relief funds for Typhoon Pamela totaled about $115 million, non-typhoon-related capital improvement projects totaled about $120 million, and other support for government operations and services totaled $132 million.[5]

Bordallo-Reyes Administration[edit]

During his second term, retired Lieutenant colonel Edward Diego "Eddie" Reyes, served as Lieutenant Governor.

First Gutierrez-Bordallo Administration[edit]

In 1994, Carl Gutierrez teamed up with Senator Madeleine Bordallo, the widow of former Governor Ricardo Jerome Bordallo, to run for the island's highest office once more on a platform of “Helping the People of Guam.” In the primary, they were challenged by the Democratic team of Edward D. Reyes and Gloria B. Nelson. The Gutierrez-Bordallo team received 9,555 votes while the Reyes-Nelson team received only 6,450 votes.[11] In the 1994 General Election, the Democratic team of Gutierrez-Bordallo faced the Republican team of Thomas V.C. Tanaka and Doris Flores Brooks. During the General Election, Tanaka-Brooks outspent the Gutierrez-Bordallo team by over $100,000, but Carl Gutierrez and Madeleine Bordallo won the election in a landslide with 23,405 votes, while Tanaka-Brooks had 19,281.[11]

Upon assuming office on January 2, 1995, Governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez focused his work in the areas of infrastructure so that all the marginalized people will be brought into the 20th century before it went out and also pushing for economic development by aggressively completing 85% of his Vision 2001 plan by the end of 1999. Despite a super majority Republican Legislature that opposed virtually every executive initiative, the Gutierrez-Bordallo administration was successful in guiding the island through the rough waters of economic downturns throughout the region.

The tourism economy was also severely affected by the crash of Korean Airlines Flight 801 on August 6, 1997. During the rescue efforts, Gutierrez was one of the first responders and the first to reach the burning plane along with Dep. Fire Chief Chuck Sanchez and his security police officer Cecil Sulla. Gutierrez was credited with saving several lives, including 11 year-old Rika Matsuda [12] and Barry Small, an injured helicopter mechanic from New Zealand, who called Governor Gutierrez a "Hero." Gutierrez received the Eagle Award, the highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. National Guard Bureau. He was recognized by the governments of Japan and the Republic of Korea.

In December 1997, Typhoon Paka struck Guam. The strong winds from Paka left around 1,500 buildings destroyed on the island,[13] of which 1,160 were single-family homes.[14] A further 10,000 buildings sustained damage to some degree,[13] with 60% of the homes on the island reporting major damage.[14] In all, about 5,000 people were left homeless due to the typhoon. Additionally, an estimated 30–40% of the public buildings received major damage.[14] Buildings on the island made of reinforced concerted fared well, as opposed to light metal-frame structures, which more often were completely destroyed. Large tourist hotels near Hagåtña, on which Guam is dependent, received generally minor damage, such as broken windows and damaged power generators.[13]

A complete island-wide power outage followed the typhoon; damage to the main electrical transmission and distribution system was estimated at USD16 million. Following the passage of the typhoon, 25% of the homes on Guam were left without water.[14] Telephone service remained working after the storm, due to most lines being underground. Strong waves washed away a few coastal roads in the northern portion of the island, leaving them temporarily closed. The waves surpassed the seawall at Apra Harbor, damaging the road and infrastructure of the seaport; many boats were washed ashore after breaking from their moorings. Strong winds damaged a radar system and lights along the runway of the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, though most airport facilities received light damage. The Andersen Air Force Base also sustained heavy damage, with hundreds of downed trees and many facilities left damaged.[13] Across Guam, damage was estimated at USD500 million.[14] About 100 people were injured,[15] but the typhoon caused no deaths on the island.[14]

Second Gutierrez-Bordallo Administration[edit]

In 1998, Governor Carl Gutierrez ran for reelection with Lieutenant Governor Madeleine Z. Bordallo. There were two Democratic teams that challenged the Gutierrez-Bordallo team in the primary. Senator Thomas C. Ada and Senator Lou A. Leon Guerrero ran as a team, as did Senator Angel L.G. Santos and Jose T. "Pedo" Terlaje. The Gutierrez-Bordallo carried the 1998 Democratic primary with 16,838 votes, compared with only 9,788 for Ada-Leon Guerrero and 6,295 for Santos-Terlaje.[16] In the 1998 General Election, Gutierrez-Bordallo faced the Republican team of Former Governor Joseph Flores Ada and Senator Felix Perez Camacho. The election resulted in a second term for Governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez and Lieutenant Governor Madeleine Z. Bordallo, who won with 24,250 votes, compared with 21,200 votes for Ada-Camacho.[16] In the 1998 Gubernatorial election against former governor Joe Ada, an election challenge by Ada/Camacho went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision by the Supreme court was 9-0 in favor of Gutierrez/Bordallo, thus ending the Republican challenge.

Just following the reelection of Governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez and Madeleine Z. Bordallo, President William Jefferson Clinton visited Guam on November 23, 1998.[17] The visit was the first since 1986 when a sitting U.S. president had visited Guam. Thousands of Guamanians gathered on the field in front of the Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor's Complex to see President Clinton. The crowd was treated to a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Joseph "Uncle Tote" Cunningham and several speakers addressed the assembled crowd.[18] President Clinton was introduced by youth speaker Michael F.Q. San Nicolas.[19]

Gutierrez/Bordallo

Gutierrez's credibility and integrity have been under constant attack by those who oppose him and his style of leadership. Beginning when he was still in office, efforts are continuing to try and find him guilty of purported crimes. He has never been found guilty of any crime, winning all cases that went to trial. Other cases were thrown out of court because they had no merit.

His second term in office was marked by political instability caused by the 1998 election challenges, a super majority Republican (12-3) Guam Legislature, an unsuccessful Recall Movement in 2000 after the Supreme court decision came out giving Gutierrez/Bordallo the win, the "rolling" power outages left behind by the Ada/Blas administration, the destruction of the island's infrastructure by Supertyphoons Chata'an, Paka, and Pongsona.

Democratic Guam Delegates to the House of Representatives[edit]

Since 1953, the Popular Party-led legislature had advocated for a Guamanian delegate to Congress. After years of frustration, then-Senator Ricardo J. Bordallo authored Public Law 7-173, which created an unofficial delegate to the U.S. Congress.

Antonio B. Won Pat[edit]

Following a special election in 1965, Antonio B. Won Pat was elected as Guam's unofficial delegate. After Won Pat's ardent efforts in Washington to press for an elected Governor as well as an official delegate, the U.S. Congress passed the Guam Elective Governor Act in 1968 and later authorized the creation of Guam's delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.[4] The first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives was former Speaker Antonio B. Won Pat. He served as Guam's delegate from 1973 to 1983.

Robert A. Underwood[edit]

In 1993, Robert A. Underwood was elected as delegate. He remained Guam's delegate until 2003, when he ran for Governor of Guam against Felix P. Camacho.

Madeleine Z. Bordallo[edit]

Madeleine Z. Bordallo has been Guam's delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003. In the 2012 Primary Election, Bordallo faced a primary challenge by Karlo Dizon before facing Republican Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr., in the General Election.[20]

Democratic Members of the Guam Legislature[edit]

Senator[21]
Speaker Judith T.P. Won Pat
Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz
Legislative Secretary Senator Tina R. Muna Barnes
Senator Rory J. Respicio, Majority Leader
Senator Thomas C. Ada, Assistant Majority Leader
Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., Majority Whip
Senator Vicente C. "Ben" Pangelinan
Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr.
Senator Michael F.Q. San Nicolas

The Democratic Party of Guam has held a majority of the seats in the Guam Legislature since the mid-term election during the 29th Guam Legislature saw Senator Benjamin J.F. Cruz fill the vacancy left by the late Senator Antonio R. Unpingco. In the next General Election (2008), the 8-7 majority[20] widened to a 10-5 majority[20] and in the next two legislatures, the Democratic Party has maintained a 9-6 majority.[20] The 2012 General Election saw the defeat of two incumbent Democratic Senators, but their seats were taken by returning Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr. and newcomer Michael F.Q. San Nicolas,[22] the grandson of former Democratic Speaker Franklin A. Quitugua.[23]

Democratic Mayors and Vice Mayors of Guam[edit]

Name[24] Municipality
Mayor June U. Blas Barrigada
Vice Mayor Jessie P. Bautista Barrigada
Mayor Jessy C. Gogue Chalan Pago-Ordot
Mayor Melissa Savares Dededo
Vice Mayor Andrew "Peter Daigo" A. Benavente Dededo
Mayor Doris F. Lujan Inarajan
Mayor Dale E. Alvarez Santa Rita
Mayor Robert D.C. Hofmann Sinajana
Vice Mayor Rudy D. Iriarte Sinajana
Mayor Vicente S. Taitague Talofofo

Mayor Doris F. Lujan was elected to her first term as Mayor of Inarajan in 2012[20] by a 9 percentage point lead.[22]

After holding the position of Vice Mayor of Sinajana since 2004, Robert D.C. Hoffman was elected as Mayor of Sinajana with his running mate Rudy D. Iriarte in 2012.[20] Likewise, June U. Blas, who held the position of Vice Mayor since the 2000 election, was elected as Mayor of Barrigada with his running mate Jessie P. Bautista in 2012.[20]

Three Mayors, Jessy Gogue of Chalan Pago-Ordot, Dale E. Alvarez of Santa Rita and Vicente S. Taitano of Talofofo were reelected for the first time in 2012.[20]

Mayor Melissa Savares and Vice Mayor Andrew "Peter Daigo" A. Benavente have held their positions since they were first elected by the people of Dededo in 2004.[20]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Mar-Vic Cagurangan.[1] Democrats seek to revitalize party; executive director named. Marianas Variety. Tamuning, 11 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Democratic Party of Guam. Constitution of the Democratic Party of Guam. Hagatna, 1979.
  3. ^ a b Guampedia, Democratic Party of Guam, Hagatna, 20 Aug 2012.
  4. ^ a b Robert F. Rogers, Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam, University of Hawai'i Press. Honolulu, 1995.
  5. ^ a b c d e Pedro C. Sanchez. Guahan Guam: The History of our Island. Hagatna, 1998.
  6. ^ a b c "Annual Typhoon Report 1976" (PDF). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. pp. 24–29. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  7. ^ a b Staff Writer (1976-05-22). "Three die as typhoon hits Guam". Eugene Register-Guard. United Press International. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  8. ^ a b Staff Writer (1976-06-02). "Red Cross unit launches drive to aid Guam". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  9. ^ "Guam: Typhoon Pamela". Federal Emergency Management Agency. 2004-12-06. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  10. ^ Staff Writer (1976-09-29). "Foreign Aid Bill Favoring Mideast OK'd". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  11. ^ a b Guam Election Commission. [2] Election Comparative Analysis Report 1994. Hagatna, 1995.
  12. ^ "Korean Air Survivor - Rika's Miracle," Government of Guam
  13. ^ a b c d EQE International (1998). "Typhoon Paka – December 1997" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f National Climatic Data Center (1997). "Event Report for Typhoon Paka". Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  15. ^ BBC News (1997-12-17). "Record typhoon winds ravage Guam". Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  16. ^ a b Guam Election Commission.[3] Election Comparative Analysis Report. Hagatna, 2001.
  17. ^ Clinton Library. [4] President Clinton's Visit to Guam
  18. '^ Zita Y. Taitano. [5] Friends Remember 'Uncle Tote. Hagatna, 21 May 2012.
  19. ^ Josh Tyquiengco. [6] VOTE 2012 - The Challengers - Michael F.Q. San Nicolas. Hagatna, 13 July 2012.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i Guam Election Commission, 2012 Election Comparative Analysis Report, Hagatna, 2013.
  21. ^ Guam Legislature, 32nd Guam Legislature - Senators, Hagatna, 2013.
  22. ^ a b Guam Election Commission, Official 2012 General Election Results, Hagatna, 2013.
  23. ^ KUAM, Michael San Nicolas, Hagatna, July 2012.
  24. ^ Mayors' Council of Guam. Mayors/Vice Mayors Directory, Hagatna, 2013.