Juan B. Tudela

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Juan B. Tudela
Mayor of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
In office
January 1, 2002 – January 11, 2010
Preceded by Jose Sablan
Succeeded by Donald Flores
Personal details
Born May 17, 1935
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Died February 2, 2013
Honolulu, Hawaii
Political party Covenant Party, Democratic Party, Republican Party
Spouse(s) Antonia Lizama Masga Tudela
Residence Garapan, Saipan MP
Alma mater Father Dueñas Memorial School, Guam
Profession Businessman, Politician, Educator, Community Leader

Juan Borja Tudela (May 17, 1935 – February 2, 2013) was a Northern Mariana Islander politician. Tudela served as a member of the 14th session of the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives.[1] He then served as the Mayor for the island of Saipan, the capital and largest Municipality of the Northern Mariana Islands, from January 2002 to January 2010, successfully completing two terms. He was succeeded by newly elected Republican, Mayor Donald Flores.[1][2]


Early life and education[edit]

Juan Borja Tudela was born on May 17, 1936 on the island of Saipan. He was the son of Jesus Tudela and Anunciación Borja.

He grew up during the final years of the Japanese administration and military occupation of the Northern Mariana Islands, three years prior to the start of World War II in 1939. He received strict compulsory education provided by the Japanese government up until June 1944. His family was deeply religious and as young child he served as an altar server for Roman Catholic church.

He was only 8 years old when the United States 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and the United States Army 27th Infantry Division landed on Saipan during Operation Forager in June 1944. When Saipan was declared secured by Allied Forces in July 1944, Tudela's family was relocated to Camp Susupe were they remained for the duration of the war.

After the end of the World War II Tudela briefly left Saipan for the island of Guam to pursue his studies to become an ordained Catholic priest at Father Duenas Memorial School in Dededo. Due to financial constraint and never completed his priestly studies and returned to the Saipan.

Upon his return, he worked for Saipan's post-war government under the control of the United States Navy. The Naval administration as it was called was influential in providing young local citizens jobs, assistance, and education. Tudela witnessed the island's every growing economy, infrastructure, and government that would later influenced his decision to become a politician.

Political career[edit]

Tudela served as a member of the 14th Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives.[1]

Tudela was first elected Mayor of Saipan in November 2001 as a member of the Democratic Party.[1] He took office in January 2002. Tudela won re-election to a second, four-year term in November 2005, this time as a member of the Covenant Party.[1] He was a strong proponent of the NMI-Japan Cultural Exchange, which brought Japanese exchange students to the Northern Mariana Islands.[1]

Tudela announced his decision not to seek re-election to a third term in 2009.[1] He was succeeded as Mayor of Saipan by Republican Donald Flores, who took office in January 2010.[2]

Juan Tudela died from stomach cancer at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 2, 2013, at the age of 77.[1] His remains were return to Saipan and was buried with full honors by the CNMI government at Chalan Kanoa Cemetery. His death and funeral set the precedent for all former members of the CNMI government to be given full recognition by the local government after their passing. [1] Tudela with his wife Antonia had 9 children and 14 grandchildren.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Eugenio, Haidee V. (2013-02-05). "CNMI Mourns Passing Of Former Saipan Mayor Tudela: 77 year-old had been diagnosed with stomach cancer". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  2. ^ a b Eugenio, Haidee V. (2014-06-02). "Prayers pour in for Flores". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved 2014-06-08.