Kenneth Mapp

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Kenneth Mapp
Kenneth Ezra Mapp.png
29th Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
Assumed office
January 5, 2015
Lieutenant Osbert Potter
Preceded by John DeJongh
7th Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
In office
January 2, 1995 – January 4, 1999
Governor Roy Schneider
Preceded by Derek Hodge
Succeeded by Gerard Luz James
Personal details
Born (1955-11-02) November 2, 1955 (age 61)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican (Before 2001)[1]
Independent (2001–present)
Education New York City College of Technology
University of the Virgin Islands (BA)
Harvard University (MPA)

Kenneth E. Mapp (born November 2, 1955) is an American politician who is the 29th Governor of the United States Virgin Islands. He is a registered Republican,[1] but ran as an independent.

A former three term Virgin Islands Senator, Mapp served as the Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands from 1995 until 1999. Mapp was an independent candidate for Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 2010 gubernatorial election,[2] but was defeated by John de Jongh.[3] He ran in the 2014 gubernatorial election for Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, defeating Donna Christian-Christensen, the longtime Delegate to Congress in a run-off.[4]


Early life and education[edit]

Mapp was born on November 2, 1955 in Brooklyn, New York, to Al Mapp and Vashti Hewitt Mapp.[5] He was one of four siblings. Mapp moved to Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1961, where he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Almina N. Hewitt, in Estate Rattan. He graduated from St. Croix Central High School in 1973.

Mapp has attended New York City Community College of City University of New York and the University of the Virgin Islands, but has not earned a bachelor's degree. After leaving office as Lt. Governor in 1999, however, he completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School (which has no formal educational requirements)[6] and received a master's degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[2] Mapp also completed other fellowships at Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.[2]


Mapp has worked as a police trainee in New York City and a police officer in the U.S. Virgin Islands.[2] He joined the New York City Police Department soon after graduating from high school in 1973 and was based in the 83rd Police Precinct in Brooklyn. He later became a police officer in the Virgin Islands and was elected president of the Virgin Islands Police Benevolent Association.

Mapp was elected as a Senator in the Virgin Islands Legislature in three separate elections.[2] Mapp was elected to the 15th Legislature of the Virgin Islands[2] in 1982, his first elected office. He would later be elected as a Senator in the 18th and 20th Legislatures as well. He Chaired the Committee on Public Safety and Judicial Affairs and was a standing Member on the Committee on Finance.[2] Additionally, Mapp held other positions within the Virgin Islands government. He served as the assistant director of the Industrial Development Commission, which later became the Economic Development Authority.[2] Mapp also became the director of the Consumer Services Administration, which is now the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.[2]

In 1994, gubernatorial candidate Roy L. Schneider chose Mapp as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor in the election.[2] Schneider and Mapp jointly campaigned as independent candidates.[7] Schneider and Mapp were elected Governor and Lt. Governor in a special gubernatorial runoff election held on November 22, 1994.[7] They defeated the Democratic gubernatorial ticket, which consisted of then Lt. Gov. Derek M. Hodge and his running mate, Alfred O. Heath.[7]

Governor Roy Schneider and Lt. Governor Kenneth Mapp were inaugurated to a four-year term on January 2, 1995.[7] However, Schneider and Mapp had a publicly strained relationship while in office and the two often did not speak to one another during their four-year tenure.[8] Schneider and Mapp did not seek re-election in 1999. Instead, Schneider ran with Finance Commissioner Juan Centeno as his running mate and they were defeated in the election by Democratic candidate Charles Turnbull and his running mate, Gerard Luz James, who were sworn in on January 4, 1999.[9]

After leaving office as Lt. Governor, Mapp earned a master's degree in public administration from Bethune Cookman's John F. Kennedy School of Government and completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP 159) at Harvard Business School.[10] Though he ran for Lt. Governor as an independent, Mapp had changed his party affiliation from Republican by 2001.[10] Mapp did not run for governor in 2002.[10] He campaigned for Governor Turnbull who was re-elected to a second term.

In 2002, Governor Charles Turnbull appointed Mapp as the Virgin Island's Public Finance Authority's Director of finance and administration. Mapp raised millions of dollars for the government and Hovensa, the territory's largest private sector employer. The Public Finance Authority acquired its first ever investment grade ratings on VI government backed securities during Mapp's tenure. Mapp also managed several major capital projects and served on the Governor’s financial and budget team. Mapp participated in budget hearings and prepared a variety of detailed analysis and reports. The Governor's financial team worked closely with department heads and legislators to develop and gain legislative approval of the annual territorial budgets.[2]

In 2006, Mapp announced his candidacy for Governor as an independent candidate with former Senator at Large Almando Liburd as his running mate. His two main opponents were businessman John De Jongh and Senator Adlah Donastorg. In the general election, de Jongh won 15,914 votes which equalled 49.33% of the total vote, Mapp won 9,100 of the total votes (equalling 26.78 percent) and Donatorg earned 7,871 votes, or 23.16 percent of the votes cast.[11] De Jongh and Mapp, the two top candidates in terms of votes, were forced into a second runoff election on November 21, 2006, since no candidate earned more than 50% of the total votes cast.[11] In the 2006 gubernatorial runoff, De Jongh was elected Governor with 16,644 votes (57.30%), while Mapp came in second, garnering 12,402 votes (42.70%).[12]

2010 gubernatorial election[edit]

Mapp formally announced his candidacy for Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 2010 gubernatorial election on August 20, 2010, at his headquarters on Saint Thomas.[2] Mapp, who is running as an Independent rather than a Republican, picked Malik Sekou, a professor and department chair at the University of the Virgin Islands, as his running mate for Lt. Governor.[2][13]

Mapp's main campaign platform included reducing crime and improving education in the Virgin Islands.[2] Mapp promised to construct a technical school, promote economic growth while protecting the environment and pursue cleaner forms of energy if elected.[2] The general election took place on November 2, 2010. Incumbent Governor John de Jongh defeated Mapp in the election to win a second term in office.[3] De Jongh earned 17,535 votes, or 56.27% of the vote, while Mapp came in second with 13,580 votes, or 43.58% of the vote.[3] Mapp initially refused to concede citing possible voting irregularities and advise from his campaign advisor.[14]

2014 gubernatorial election[edit]

Mapp ran for Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 2014 gubernatorial election. He chose Osbert Potter, a former Virgin Islands Senator as his running mate. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. He received 47.47% of the vote, but since no candidate received the required 50%+1 as required by the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands, a run off was held between him and Donna Christian-Christensen, the two top vote receivers. The run off was held on November 18, 2014, two weeks after the general election.[15] Mapp went on to win the run-off election in a landslide victory, receiving almost 64% of the vote.[4]


  1. ^ a b Mapp says He'll run for Governor. 2002
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Lewin, Aldeth (2010-08-21). "Mapp formally announces his gubernatorial bid". Virgin Islands Daily News. Archived from the original on 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  3. ^ a b c Pancham, Ananta (2010-10-02). "DeJongh-Francis to Return for Second Term". St. Thomas Source. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Kenneth Mapp Elected Governor Of The United States Virgin Islands". 
  5. ^ 1984. The Fifteenth Legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands
  6. ^ "Advanced Management Program". 
  7. ^ a b c d "A Report on the State of the Islands 1997: Chapter 5 Virgin Islands". United States Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs. 1997. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  8. ^ Baur, John (n.d.). "James to Boycott Government House Gala, Rips Turnbull". St. Thomas Source. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  9. ^ Penington, Shaun (1999-01-04). "Turnbull becomes 6th Elected Governor". St. Thomas Source. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  10. ^ a b c Bate, Jamie (2001-11-30). "Mapp says He'll Run For Governor in 2002". St. Thomas Source. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  11. ^ a b Pancham, Ananta (2006-11-17). "DeJongh Two Votes Shy of Outright Win; Runoff With Mapp Set for Tuesday". St. Croix Source. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  12. ^ Mann, Susan (2006-11-22). "DeJongh wins USVI gubernatorial runoff election". Caribbean Net News. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  13. ^ Kossler, Bill (2010-07-26). "Gubernatorial Challengers Pick Running Mates". St. Croix Source. Archived from the original on 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  14. ^ Kossler, Bill (2010-10-05). "BVI's O'Neal Congratulates DeJongh as Mapp Won't Fold". St. Thomas Source. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  15. ^ Fiona Stokes. "Ballot set for runoff election Neither Christensen nor Mapp tickets expected to reach threshold after ballot-counting from General Election". virgin islands daily news. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Derek Hodge
Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
Succeeded by
Gerard Luz James
Preceded by
John de Jongh
Governor of the United States Virgin Islands