Legislature of Guam
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The Legislature of Guam (Liheslaturan Guåhan in Chamorro) is the legislature in the United States territory of Guam. The legislative branch is unicameral, with a single house consisting of fifteen senators, each serving for a two year term. All members of the legislature are elected at-large. After the enactment of the Organic Act, the First Guam Legislature was elected in 1950. The current 32nd Guam Legislature (Chamorro: I Mina' Trentai Dos Na Liheslaturan Guåhan) was elected in November 2012.
Spanish Period: 1668-1898
During the Spanish colonial era, lasting roughly from the 1670s until 1898, Guam was provided with no colonial legislature. All political decisions on the island were left to a Madrid appointed governor, who, until 1817, reported to the Viceroy of New Spain in Mexico. Due to New Spain's distance from Guam and the speed of transportation of the times, Guam's leadership often took matters into its own hands. During the Mexican War of Independence, when Spain increasingly saw New Spain falling through its grip, Madrid transferred Guam's political authority to the Governor of Manila, and after 1821, fully to the Spanish Philippines.
American Period: 1898-1941, 1944-today
Spain lost Guam during the 1898 Spanish American War in a bloodless invasion. For the next forty years, the United States Navy assumed executive control of the island, treating it more as a military outpost than an overseas territory, with little to no civilian say in the island's affairs. Governor Captain Willis Winter Bradley instituted the Guam Congress during the 1930s as an elected advisory body to the naval governor. On December 8, 1941, Imperial Japanese forces invaded Guam, beginning a three year occupation of the island. The island was eventually retaken in 1944 during the intense Battle of Guam.
Following the end of the war, the U.S. Navy attempted to resume military control of the islands, much to the dismay of the local Chamorro population who demanded greater rights on the heels of the harsh Japanese occupation. The U.S. federal government listened. The result was the Guam Organic Act of 1950 signed by President Harry S. Truman. The act established a civilian territorial government with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. It was the first time that Guam had a democratic civilian government.
|1st - 2nd Legislature||1951–1955||Antonio B. Won Pat||Popular Party|
|3rd Legislature||1955–1957||Francisco B. Leon Guerrero||Popular Party|
|4th - 7th Legislature||1957–1965||Antonio B. Won Pat||Popular Party|
|8th Legislature||1965–1967||Carlos P. Taitano||Territorial Party|
|9th - 10th Legislature||1967–1971||Joaquin C. Arriola||Democratic Party|
|11th - 12th Legislature||1971–1975||Florencio T. Ramirez||Democratic Party|
|13th - 14th Legislature||1975–1979||Joseph F. Ada||Republican Party|
|15th - 16th Legislature||1979–1983||Tomas V.C. Tanaka||Republican Party|
|17th - 18th Legislature||1983–1987||Carl T.C. Gutierrez||Democratic Party|
|19th Legislature||1987–1989||Franklin J.A. Quitugua||Democratic Party|
|20th - 22nd Legislature||1989–1995||Joe T. San Agustin||Democratic Party|
|23rd Legislature||1995–1997||Don Parkinson||Democratic Party|
|24th - 26th Legislature||1997–2003||Antonio R. "Tony" Unpingco||Republican Party|
|27th Legislature||2003–2005||Vicente "Ben" C. Pangelinan||Democratic Party|
|28th - 29th Legislature||2005–2008||Mark Forbes||Republican Party|
|29th - 32nd Legislature||2008–present||Judith T.P. "Judi" Won Pat||Democratic Party|
Structure of the Guam Legislature
The Guam Organic Act of 1950 provides for the establishment of the Guam Legislature. The Organic Act provides that the Guam Legislature is a unicameral body with up to twenty-one members and that elections shall be held every two years. Until a change to Guam law in 1996, the Guam Legislature had 21 members, called senators, but since then it has had 15 senators. Senators of the Guam Legislature have been elected both by a number of at-large districts and by an island-wide at-large election. Since the 1980s, senators of the Guam Legislature have been elected at-large through an open partisan primary and a subsequent island-wide election.
27th through 32nd Guam Legislatures
In the November 2002 legislative elections, the Democratic Party defeated the Republican Party. The Democrats held 9 seats (Speaker Vicente C. Pangelinan, Vice Speaker Frank B. Aguon, Jr., Legislative Secetary Tina R. Muna Barnes, Majority Leader Lou Leon Guerrero, Asst. Majority leader Antoinette Sanford, Majority Whip Carmen Fernandez, Asst. Majority Whip John M. Quinata, Rory J. Respicio, and F. Randall Cunliffe). The Republicans held six seats (Mark Forbes, Joanne M. Salas Brown, Lawrence Kasperbauer, Jesse Anderson Lujan, Robert Kiltzkie and Ray Tenorio).
In the November 2004 legislative elections, the Republican Party defeated the Democratic Party. The Republicans held 9 seats (Speaker Mark Forbes, Vice Speaker Joanne Salas Brown, Majority Leader Ray Tenorio, Majority Whip Jesse Anderson Lujan, Lawrence Kasperbauer, Antonio R. Unpingco, Edward B. Calvo, Michael Cruz and Robert Klitzkie). The Democrats held six seats (Frank B. Aguon Jr., Lou Leon Guerrero, Adolpho Palacios, Benjamin Cruz, Judith Won Pat-Borja and Rory Respicio).
In the November 2006 legislative elections, the Republican Party defeated the Democratic Party. The Republicans held 8 seats (Speaker Mark Forbes, Vice Speaker Edward B. Calvo, Ray Tenorio, Antonio R. Unpingco, Jesse Anderson Lujan, James V. Espaldon, Frank F. Blas Jr., and Frankie Ishizaki. The Democrats held seven seats (Judith Won Pat, Rory J. Respicio, David L.G. Shimizu, Tina R. Muna Barnes, Judith P. Guthertz, Adolpho B. Palacios, Vicente C. Pangelinan).
In October 2007, Republican Senator Antonio (Tony) Unpingco died, and in a Special Election held in January 2008, Democratic Party candidate Benjamin "BJ" Cruz won the vacated seat and brought the Democrats to the majority. After Cruz was inaugurated, the new Democratic majority demanded control of the legislature, but Republicans held on to standing rules adopted in January 2007 which required a 12-3 vote to change the speakership and a 10-5 vote to change the standing rules, both of which the Democrats did not have. Finally, after a six-day power struggle  during which two "legislatures" with two "speakers" both claimed legitimacy, Republicans gave up their leadership  and Democratic Senator Judith Won Pat was elected speaker by the full legislature.
In the November 2008 legislative elections, the Democratic Party defeated the Republican Party. The Democrats hold 10 seats (Speaker) Judith T. Won Pat, Vice Speaker Benjamin J. F. Cruz, Legislative Secretary Tina R. Muna Barnes, Majority Leader Rory J. Respicio, Judith P. Guthertz, Adolpho B. Palacios, Vicente C. Pangelinan, Thomas C. Ada, and Matthew J. Rector. The Republcians hold five seats (Minority Leader Edward B. Calvo, Ray Tenorio, Frank F. Blas Jr., James V. Espaldon, and Telo Taitague).
In the November 2010 legislative elections, the Democratic Party defeated the Republican Party. The Democrats hold 9 seats (Speaker) Judith T. Won Pat, Vice Speaker Benjamin J. F. Cruz, Legislative Secretary Tina R. Muna Barnes, Majority Leader Rory J. Respicio, Judith P. Guthertz, Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., Adolpho B. Palacios, Vicente C. Pangelinan, and Thomas C. Ada. The Republicans hold five seats (Minoroty Leader Frank F. Blas Jr., Aline Yamashita, V. Anthony Ada, Christopher M. Duenas, Shirley "Sam" Mabini, and Mana Silva Taijeron).
|Name||Party Affiliation||Votes Received|
|Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.||Democratic||20,038|
|Frank B. Aguon, Jr.||Democratic||19,518|
|Thomas C. Ada||Democratic||18,079|
|Thomas A. Morrison||Republican||16,983|
|Michael F.Q. San Nicolas||Democratic||16,625|
|V. Anthony Ada||Republican||15,796|
|Christopher M. Duenas||Republican||15,703|
|Benjamin J.F. Cruz||Democratic||15,090|
|Judith T.P. Won Pat||Democratic||15,031|
|Tina R. Muna Barnes||Democratic||14,746|
|Vicente C. Pangelinan||Democratic||14,707|
|Aline A. Yamashita||Republican||14,203|
|Rory J. Respicio||Democratic||14,042|
- Democratic Party of Guam
- Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz
- Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr.
- Senator Michael F.Q. San Nicolas
- Who's really in charge? Tenorio says Democrats have 'rogue Legislature', Pacific Daily News, March 7, 2008
- Forbes, Tenorio resign: Democrats assume legislative leadership positions, Pacific Daily News, March 12, 2008
- Guam Election Commission Official 2012 General Election Results, Hagatna, 2012.
- Guam Legislature's Official Website
- Speaker Judith T.P. Won Pat's Official Website
- Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz's Official Website
- Senator San Nicolas's Official Website
- Senator Vicente (Ben) Pangelinan's Official Website
- Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr.'s Official Website
- Senator Thomas C. Ada's Official Website
- Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.'s Official Website