Gerard Luz James

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Gerard Luz James
Gerard Luz James.jpg
8th Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
In office
January 4, 1999 – January 6, 2003
Governor Charles Turnbull
Preceded by Kenneth Mapp
Succeeded by Vargrave Richards
Personal details
Born (1953-03-18) March 18, 1953 (age 61)
St. Croix, Virgin Islands, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Children 4
Alma mater Howard University

Gerard Luz James II (born March 18, 1953) is a United States Virgin Islander politician, funeral director, and businessman. James served as the Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands from 1999 until 2003 and was the president of Fifth Constitutional Convention of the U.S. Virgin Islands.[1]


Early life[edit]

James was born in Saint Croix on March 18, 1953,[1] to parents G. Luz A. James and Asta Klyvert-James. He was the family's first son and second child. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic school and the Christiansted Junior High in the Virgin Islands, before enrolling at the now defunct St. Emma’s Military Academy in Powhatan, Virginia. He graduated from the Miami Military Academy in Florida in 1971.


James received a bachelor's degree in political science from Howard University in 1975.[1] He enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served for six years.[1] He was promoted to the rank of captain[1] before being honorably discharged in 1981.

He studied mortuary science before returning to the United States Virgin Islands. James opened his funeral home, the James Memorial Funeral Home in Christiansted, which he still owns as of 2010.[1]

Political career[edit]

Gerard Luz James began his political career in 1992 when he was elected as a Senator in the Virgin Islands Legislature.[1]

In 1998, Charles Turnbull, a candidate for Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, chose James as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor.[1] The Turnull-James ticket was elected in the 1998 gubernatorial election.[1] James was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor on Monday, January 4, 1999.[2]

Turnbull and James had high profile, public disagreements during their tenure in office.[1][3] The dispute led James to challenge Turnbull in the 2002 gubernatorial election.[1] However, Turnbull defeated James and other challengers in the election.[1] The Governor replaced named Vargrave Richards as his new Lieutenant Governor.[4]

James was the president of the Fifth Constitutional Convention of the U.S. Virgin Islands.[5]

2010 gubernatorial candidacy[edit]

Gerard Luz James announced his candidacy for Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands as a Democrat.[1] His campaign was officially launched on was made on August 1, 2010, in Buddhoe Park in Frederiksted.[1] James chose Glen J. Smith, an educator, as his running mate.[1]

James and Smith faced three opponents and two other candidates in the Democratic primary election on September 11, 2010 - incumbent Governor John de Jongh, Senator Adlah Donastorg and James O'Bryan Jr.[1] In the primary election, James came in third place behind the primary's winner, De Jongh, and Donastorg, who came in second place.[6] Following the primary, James stated that he "accepted the people's decision," but further elaborated, "The people of the Virgin Islands showed me today that they really and truly endure mistreatment, endure corruption, endure mismanagement, and they also endure maltreatment to each other...The only thing that I can see is continued destruction, and it’s sad, sad, sad."[6] James stated that he would not endorse Governor John de Jongh for a second term in the 2010 general election saying, "Why should I endorse anyone when it shows me truly that the people don’t want to have anything that is right?"[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Baur, John (2010-08-01). "James Joins Governor's Race". St. Croix Source. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  2. ^ Penington, Shaun (1999-01-04). "Turnbull becomes 6th Elected Governor". St. Thomas Source. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  3. ^ Baur, John (n.d.). "James to Boycott Government House Gala, Rips Turnbull". St. Thomas Source. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  4. ^ Baur, John (2003-01-06). "Inaugural Speech Urges Municipal Government". St. Croix Source. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  5. ^ V.I. asks Congress to send constitution draft back for more work Virgin Islands News; May 20, 2010; Accessed July 31, 2012
  6. ^ a b c Lewin, Aldeth (2010-09-13). "DeJongh-Francis victory leaves rivals with uncertain futures". Virgin Islands Daily News. Archived from the original on 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Kenneth Mapp
Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
Succeeded by
Vargrave Richards