John de Jongh
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|John de Jongh|
|28th Governor of the United States Virgin Islands|
January 1, 2007
|Preceded by||Charles Wesley Turnbull|
|Born||John Percy de Jongh, Jr.
November 13, 1957
Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Islands
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Cecile René Galiber|
|Alma mater||Antioch College|
Real estate agent
John Percy de Jongh, Jr. (born November 13, 1957) is the current Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
De Jongh previously served as Commissioner of Finance after being appointed in 1987. He left public office in 1992 and became successful in business. He unsuccessfully ran for governor in the 2002 general election as an independent candidate, placing second with 24.4% of the vote. In the 2006 general election, never having served elective office, he defeated former Lieutenant Governor Kenneth Mapp in a runoff and became governor. In 2010, he won re-election to a second term.
As governor, he's had the support of many in the business community, due to his background as a businessman and Commissioner of Finance.
Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York. As a child he attended Sts. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas. After his parents' divorce, he lived with his mother in Detroit, Michigan while his mother did social work for the Detroit Public Schools. During the summer, de Jongh would return to St. Thomas to assist in his father's law firm. He earned an economics degree from Antioch College in Ohio.
De Jongh is a product of Catholic schooling, attending such institutions both on the island and in the United States. During college, he was able to study abroad, and completed an urban study in Yugoslavia and The Netherlands. After graduating from college, de Jongh returned to his ancestral Virgin Islands. He worked for several years as a member of the Economic Development Council, during which he helped receive funding for the preservation of historic Virgin Island buildings, before taking a job with Chase Manhattan. de Jongh first worked as an executive in the company's San Juan, Puerto Rico office before once again returning to the Virgin Islands after earning the position of Consumer Manager of Operations in both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Under his leadership, Chase placed more emphasis on personal over corporate banking in the Caribbean and increased home mortgage lending.
In 1986, he married Cecile Rene Galiber of St. Croix. They have three children.
In 1987, de Jongh was appointed as Commissioner of Finance by Governor Alexander Farrelly, his first political office and one that had once been held by his grandfather, Percy. He was key in financial reforming and boosting the economy of the territory in the early 1990s. He also worked as an executive assistant to the governor's office, and he helped to coordinate better interagency cooperation. In 1992, de Jongh left politics and was a powerful and successful businessman. He worked as a consultant for Public Financial Management and was one of the creators of the oversight committee to help Washington, D.C. becoming financially sound. de Jongh has also been an executive at Lockhart and Chilmark Partners, two large Caribbean real estate firms.
De Jongh unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002 (receiving the second highest amount of votes out of eight candidates) as an independent candidate. He won the governorship in the 2006 general election after defeating former Lieutenant Governor Kenneth Mapp in a November 21 run-off election with over 57% of the vote. Mapp had edged out Adlah Donastorg for the second run-off spot in the November 7 election. De Jongh held the support of the business community, among others, and the expectations of the people for a competently-run public-private partnership in the years to come.
De Jongh took the oath of office on January 1, 2007 to become the 7th elected Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to this, he had never served in elective office.
De Jongh won the Democratic primary election on September 11, 2010. He received 7,487 votes, or 53% of the vote in the primary, more than all three of his Democratic challengers combined. Senator Adlah Donastorg Jr. came in second with 4,300 votes; former Lt. Governor Gerard Luz James received 1,823 votes; fourth placed candidate James O'Bryan Jr. garnered 432 votes.
John de Jongh faced independent candidate Kenneth Mapp, a former Lt. Governor, in the general election on November 2, 2010. The contest between De Jongh and Mapp was essentially a rematch of the top two contenders from the 2006 gubernatorial election.
On November 2, 2010, De Jongh and Lt. Governor Gregory Francis won re-election to second term, taking 17,535 votes, or 56.27%. de Jongh defeated the independent gubernatorial ticket of Kenneth Mapp and Malik Sekou, who came in second with 13,580 votes.
- 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 September 14, 2010.
- Pancham, Ananta (2010-09-12). "DeJongh-Francis Clinch Top Spots in Democratic Primary". St. John Source. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Pancham, Ananta (2010-10-02). "DeJongh-Francis to Return for Second Term". St. Thomas Source. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
Charles Wesley Turnbull
|Governor of the United States Virgin Islands