James Espaldon

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Jim Espaldon
Minority Leader of the Guam Legislature
In office
January 2, 2017 – January 7, 2019
Preceded byAnthony Ada
Succeeded byWilliam Castro
Member of the Guam Legislature
In office
January 5, 2015 – January 7, 2019
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Personal details
James Virata Espaldon

(1956-06-21) June 21, 1956 (age 62)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Gilda Respicio Eay
Children3, including 1 adopted
EducationMenlo College (BA)
Ohio Northern University (JD)

James Virata Espaldon (born June 21, 1956), also known as Jim Espaldon, is an American politician and lawyer. A member of the Republican Party, Espaldon is a former candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Guam in the 2010 gubernatorial election as the running mate of Michael Cruz.[1] He is now seeking re-election in the 2014 Guam election, but he won the election from his 4th place with more votes, then he return to his office in 2015. On May 31, 2018, Espaldon announced that he would not seek reelection in 2018.

Early life[edit]

Espaldon was born on June 21, 1956,[2] in the Philippines, to his father, Dr. Ernesto "Ernie" Mercader Espaldon (1927–2006)[2] who served as a senator for six terms in the 13th,14th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 21st Guam Legislatures.[2][3] and his mother Dr. Leticia Virata, an anesthesiologist. He is also the grandson of Cipriano Acuña Espaldon and Claudia Cadag Mercader.

Espaldon graduated from Father Duenas Memorial High School in 1975.[2] Espaldon received his bachelor's degree in business management from Menlo College in California.[1]

Early career[edit]

Espaldon has held jobs in the real estate, health care and retail industries during his early career.[1] He previously worked as an onion farmer on the island of Maui in Hawaii.[2] Espaldon then transitions to retail management at ABC Stores in Hawaii before returning to Guam.[2] He worked in Guamanian real estate before becoming director for facilities services at a medical clinic.[2]

He obtained a juris doctorate from Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law in 2003.[1][2]


Espaldon worked as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Guam under Judge Alberto C. Lamorena III prior to entering politics.[1] He joined the Guam bar association in September 2006.[2]

Espaldon was first elected as a senator in the Legislature of Guam the 29th Guam Legislature in November 2006.[1][2] He was sworn into office in January 1, 2007. Espaldon was re-elected to second term in November 2008 for the 30th Guam Legislature, serving until January 3, 2011.[1][2]

Lt. Governor Michael W. Cruz, a candidate for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election, chose Espaldon as his running mate for the election.[1] The announcement was made at the Cruz-Espaldon headquarters in Piti on May 4, 2010.[3]

Candidate for senator (2014)[edit]

On July 1, 2014, Espaldon filed for candidacy with the Guam Election Commission for a new term as a Republican senator for the 33rd Guam Legislature. Former senator Espaldon was a senator for the past two terms. Ex-senator Espaldon won the election with more votes in 2014, but won in the November election when he came to his office in January 5, 2015.

33rd Guam Legislature[edit]

After placing number 4 in the island-wide election, Espaldon was chosen by his colleagues in the 33rd Guam Legislature.

On February 25, 2015 Senator Espaldon introduced Bill No. 44-33 (COR) to add a new (h) to §5201 of 22 GCA relative to the use of an individual's credit history in the employment process.

In March 2015 Senators Espaldon, Rodriguez and Vice Speaker Cruz introduced Bill No. 54-33 (COR) to amend § 4301(b) of 4 GCA, Relative to the Calculation of Government of Guam Group Health Insurance Plan Employee Contributions.


On May 31, 2018, Espaldon announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018, keeping his pledge when he ran in 2006 to only serve four terms in the legislature. After announcing his retirement, Espaldon is planning to run for attorney general, but he recently declined.

Personal life[edit]

Espaldon is married to a hairdresser Gilda Respicio Eay,[2] father to Christian James and Victoria, also an adoptive daughter to Jonte Perez De Leon who is married to SUP Shack Guam member Lad De Leon. He also has two adopted granddaughters Gabrielle "Gabby" and Mylee de Leon.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Calvo, Cruz take stances on issues: Lt. Gov. Mike Cruz and Sen. James Espaldon". Pacific Daily News. 2010-07-23. Archived from the original on 2010-08-29. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "About Jim". Office of Senator James Espaldon. Archived from the original on 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  3. ^ a b Rabago, Jennifer (2010-05-04). "Cruz-Espaldon Announces Gubernatorial Bid - Makes Guam Election History". Guam News Watch. Archived from the original on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
Legislature of Guam
Preceded by
Anthony Ada
Minority Leader of the Guam Legislature
Succeeded by
William Castro