Republican Party of Guam

The Republican Party of Guam, commonly referred to as Guam GOP (abbreviation for Guam Grand Old Party), is a political party in Guam affiliated with the United States Republican Party.

Republican Party of Guam
ChairpersonJuan Carlos Benitez
Legislative Minority LeaderChristopher M. Duenas
Minority Leader WhipFrank Blas Jr.
Preceded byTerritorial Party
HeadquartersP.O. Box 2846, Hagåtña, Guam 96932[1]
Fiscal conservatism
Social conservatism
Political positionCenter-right to right-wing
National affiliationRepublican Party
Colors  Red
Territorial Legislature
6 / 15
Villages held by Republican Mayors
9 / 19
Website Edit this at Wikidata

In the 2022 general election, Republican Party candidates won 6 out of 15 seats in the Guam Legislature.[citation needed]

History edit

The Republican Party of Guam stems from the old Territorial Party of Guam, which existed from 1956 through 1968.[2] The Territorial Party was established in 1956 by discontented former Popular Party members,[3] including Frank D. Perez,[4] Pedro Leon Guerrero,[5] Edward T. Calvo,[4] Cynthia Torres,[6] B. J. Bordallo,[4] Vicente Reyes,[5] Felix Carbullido,[5] and Antonio Duenas.[5] The Territorial Party had only one successful election, in 1964, when it won a majority in the Guam Legislature with 13 thirteen of the 21 twenty-one seats.[citation needed]

This changed during the 1966 election, when the Territorials lost all twenty-one seats to the Democrats. The Territorials' demise came after they blocked a popular urban renewal plan, which was supported by the Democrats, as the Territorials backed private investment. The Territorial Party dissolved soon after.[2]

On November 21, 1966, a few weeks after the general election of that year, former Governor Joseph Flores, along with former Territorial senators Carlos Garcia Camacho, Kurt S. Moylan, and Vicente C. Reyes, officially formed the Republican Party of Guam.[2][5] Other Territorials soon became active, including Senators G. Ricardo Salas and Frank D. Perez. The new Republicans were careful not to portray their new party as a criticism of the Territorial Party, whose members they hoped to attract.[citation needed]

Republican governors of Guam edit

At the young age of forty-four, Carlos Camacho succeeded Governor Manuel F.L. Guerrero as Governor of Guam, with Kurt Moylan appointed as lieutenant governor. Camacho's term as appointed governor lasted only eighteen months, due to the Elective Governor Act that was signed into law by the US Congress in 1968, allowing for Guam's citizens to choose their governor. The act took effect in 1970 when Guam's first election was held. Camacho's term was best remembered for his Christmas 1969 visit to the troops from Guam who were fighting in Vietnam.[citation needed]

Camacho–Moylan administration edit

Camacho first selected senator G. Ricardo Salas as his running mate but later announced that Kurt Moylan would be the Republicans' candidate for lieutenant governor. The Democratic primary was a close race between former governor Manuel F. L. Guerrero, senator Ricardo Bordallo and attorney and former speaker Joaquin C. "Kin" Arriola. After a close primary and a contentious runoff election, Guerrero defeated Bordallo, and in the general election Camacho–Moylan defeated Bordallo–Taitano.[citation needed]

Camacho and Moylan's historic inauguration was held on January 4, 1971, at the Plaza de España in Agana. He uses the resources of the government to enhance economic opportunities by granting incentives through the Guam Economics Development and offering various forms of assistance to the private sector. During his entire five and a half years in office, Camacho presided over one of the largest eras of hotel construction activities on Guam, with construction finishing or starting on the Kakue Hotel, Reef Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Okura Hotel, Fujita Tumon Beach, Continental Travelodge, and Guam Dai Ichi Hotel.[citation needed]

Camacho also initiated massive road projects that were continued by his successors, including the widening of Marine Drive (now Marine Corps Drive) from Hospital Road north to Route 16 in Harmon, and the reconstruction of other major highways in the villages of Agat, Dededo, and Tamuning, among others.[citation needed]

He is also credited with enticing many educated Chamorros back to Guam, to reverse what was seen as a "brain drain" at the time, including Tony Palomo, Greg Sanchez, Mary Sanchez, Tony Unpingco, Dr. Pedro Sanchez, Dr. Katherine Aguon, Juan C. Tenorio, Bert Unpingco, Ben Perez, Eddie Duenas, Joseph F. Ada and Frank Blas. Many of them took jobs with the government of Guam as administrators and later became senators. Camacho also kept on other able administrators even if they were not of his party affiliation which served to stabilize the government.[citation needed]

As a team, Camacho and Moylan worked to develop economic opportunities by creating incentives to attract business and encourage local participation in business. At the time Guam elected its first governor the federal government still had control over much of the island's utilities and roads. They struggled to work toward gaining more self-government and self-determination.[citation needed]

In the 1974 gubernatorial election, Camacho withstood a primary challenge by Paul McDonald Calvo, but was defeated for reelection in a re-match with Senator Ricardo Bordallo, who won the election.[7] An election challenge by the Bordallo–Sablan campaign went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.[clarification needed] Following his unsuccessful bid for reelection as governor, Camacho resumed his career as a dentist.[citation needed]

Calvo-Ada administration edit

Calvo ran for governor again in 1978, this time with popular senator Joseph F. Ada. Calvo's image of a successful business executive resonated well with the voters as he ran on a "balance-the-budget" campaign and attacked the Bordallo administration for the huge jump in the budget deficit and high crime rate. Calvo built a strong political organization, complete with regional and village groups, and had the financial backing not only of Calvo's Enterprises but of supporters in the business community. Bordallo, meanwhile, was hurt as his running mate, Sablan, ran against him in the primary, and Calvo-Ada won the election with 52 percent of the votes.[citation needed]

During his first year as governor, Calvo reduced the government of Guam's deficit by $27 million, but the deficit continued to climb for the rest of his term due mainly to long-standing problems with tax collections.[citation needed]

Guam's economy began to regain health under Calvo's administration, as he sought to attract new businesses to Guam, including a tuna-fishing fleet, a garment manufacturer, and hotel construction. Visitor arrivals also registered sharp increases.[citation needed]

But Calvo's term as governor was marred by the teacher's strike of 1981, which lasted many months and caused deep divisions in Guam's education system. He lost to Bordallo in the 1982 election.[citation needed]

Ada-Blas administration edit

First term edit

His running mate and lieutenant governor was former senator Frank Blas. Ada served numerous terms in the Guam Legislature, becoming the first Republican speaker of the Legislature when the Republicans captured control of the body from the Democratic Party. Ada was elected Lt. Governor of Guam with running mate Paul McDonald Calvo in 1978, but declined the opportunity to serve as Calvo's running mate for re-election in 1982 and instead returned to the Legislature. Calvo lost the subsequent election to Ricky Bordallo. Ada is the only Guam political leader to serve as Speaker, lieutenant governor and governor. He stewarded Guam's economic expansion and pushed, successfully, for the return of land held by the US military.[citation needed]

When Ada began his first term Guam was in the throes of an economic recession with the government suffering under a crushing deficit. Ada put all his administration's efforts toward Guam's economic recovery, and eventually, he presided over one of the fastest-growing and strongest economies in the island's history due in part to a growth in tourism from a booming Japanese economy. He launched an austerity program at the start of his term and followed it with a program to encourage investment and trade from Asia. He eliminated the government deficit in three years. Despite a decrease in federal spending, Guam's economy doubled and some 25,000 new jobs were created. A majority of these jobs were in Guam's growing private sector. During Ada's first term, private sector employment outstripped public sector employment in Guam's economy for the first time in the modern era.[citation needed]

As chairperson of the Commission on Self-Determination, established in 1980 to lead the way toward determining a new political status for Guam, Ada presided over the completion of the Guam Commonwealth Act and presented to the people of Guam for approval in a plebiscite. Upon the Act's approval, Ada took it to US Congress. A strong advocate for self-government and self-determination for Guam, he called for an end to Guam's colonial status and pushed for the liberation of Guam's economy from federal regulations. Congress, however, did not act on the Guam Commonwealth Act and Guam's political status remains unresolved.[citation needed]

Ada believed that Guam needed to be financially healthy and not dependent on the US government in order to move forward politically. He said the federal government has tied Guam's hands more than once pointing to postwar security clearance, federal land takings for US bases, and the Jones Act which puts Guam at a financial disadvantage for shipping.[citation needed]

To address those concerns Ada said he supported the newly developed qualifying certificate program at the Guam Economic Development Authority to bring in foreign investment, pushed for good fuel rates and port lease fees to bring tuna transshipment to Guam, and worked on getting a visa waiver for visitors to Guam from Korea and Taiwan, all of which helped move Guam away from being dependent on US federal dollars. He also directed floating the first bond for infrastructure rather than ask for more federal funds.[citation needed]

Second term edit

In his second term, Ada capitalized on the fruits of his economic recovery program and made the largest investment in education in Guam up to that time. He directed the floating of a bond which made some $170 million available for the construction of a new high school in southern Guam (now Guam Southern High School), new elementary schools in Tamuning, Inarajan and Dededo, and reconstruction of schools in Upi and Ordot-Chalan Pago. Additionally, many new classrooms were built to relieve overcrowding in schools around the island. Operating budgets for the public schools were increased annually. Under Ada computers and computer classes were introduced in all Guam schools. At the end of his term, every grade level in every school had access to computer classes.[citation needed]

Guam suffered from a string of natural disasters during the second Ada administration. Four typhoons, one after another, hit Guam in 1991, with Typhoon Omar causing the most damage. On 8 August 1993 Guam was rocked by a very large earthquake. Measuring 7.8 on the moment magnitude scale, the shock had a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). Damage ran into millions of dollars, though only two buildings were destroyed. These disasters, combined with a recession in Japan, caused the tourism industry to suffer for a time.[citation needed]

Camacho-Moylan administration edit

Camacho-Moylan went on to defeat Speaker Antonio "Tony" Unpingco with his running mate Eddie Baza Calvo as a future governor in the Republican primary election on August 31, 2002, and ran against Guam Delegate Robert A. Underwood and his running mate, Senator Thomas "Tom" C. Ada for the general election. In 2002, Camacho teamed up with fellow senator Kaleo Moylan to run for Guam's governor and lieutenant governor and defeated Democratic contenders Guam Delegate Robert Underwood and Senator Thomas "Tom" Ada.[citation needed]

Guam was slammed by Super Typhoon Pongsona on 8 December 2003, shortly after Camacho and Moylan were elected into office. They opted not to have a formal inaugural celebration, due to the state of the island and instead chose to be sworn in with a ceremony at the Plaza de España at midnight after a celebratory mass at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Hagåtña – all under candle light.[citation needed]

The storm, just six months after another strong typhoon Chata’an hit the island, left the island reeling. The hospital, the schools, the airport, the seaport, hotels along with hundreds of homes and businesses, had all been severely damaged. The damages were estimated at $246 million by the Federal Emergency Management Agency-the largest natural disaster in US history, holding that record until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Fuel tanks at the Cabras Island caught on fire making it unsafe for ships to come into the harbor. The Guam Telephone Authority and A.B. Won Pat International Airport were also shut down for a time. Soon, though, approximately 10,000 tourists who had been on Guam since before the storm were able to go home. Camacho and his administration worked on getting the power, water, communications and transportation systems running again, as well as re-opening the island's schools and getting assistance to people with typhoon damaged homes and businesses. Tourism went down to a minimum and the government was essentially bankrupt.[citation needed]

The Camacho Administration had other challenges to governing Guam as well. Due to concerns about the way the previous administration had handled government affairs, the Guam Legislature enacted legislation to remove power from the Office of the Governor in several ways. For the first time, Guam had an elected attorney general and an elected auditor. There was also an elected school board and appointed superintendent of education who had complete authority over the largest government agency, the Guam Department of Education.[citation needed]

Likewise, for the first time, the people of Guam had elected a board to run the government's utilities. The Consolidated Utilities Commission took management of the power and water out of the governor's hands. The Public Utilities Commission also set utility rates, and the Guam Telephone Authority was sold to a private company in 2005, the last government-owned telephone exchange in the United States, taking even more government responsibility away from the administration.[citation needed]

The court imposed penalties of more than $2.86 million against the government for failing to abide by the mandates of the consent decree. Ultimately, the federal court appointed a receiver to enforce the terms of the consent decree and assume all the functions of the solid waste management division of the Department of Public Works. The court ordered the government to deposit $20 million into an account while the government with the court-appointed receiver worked out a financing option for the consent decree projects. When a viable financing option was not presented to the court, the court ordered the government to deposit $993,700 on a weekly basis into the account. Eventually, the court suspended the weekly payments when the government issued bonds totaling $202 million for the consent decree projects.[citation needed]

In 2001, a group of mentally ill individuals who lived on Guam filed suit against Camacho's predecessor, Governor Gutierrez, for failure to provide community-based living services to the mentally ill. The court found that defendants had discriminated against plaintiffs by requiring them to reside in the adult In-patient units to receive services and that the services provided to Plaintiffs were not appropriate to their particular needs. Additionally, the court found that the Defendants had violated the Plaintiffs' constitutional rights to minimum standards of care and appointed a federal management team in 2010.[citation needed]

In 2004, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Camacho claiming refunds of approximately $112 million as a result of the earned income tax credit. The complaint was amended in 2006 wherein the class asked for approximately $135 million. The parties settled the case for $90 million. In anticipation of the court's approval of the settlement agreement, the Camacho Administration managed to set aside millions of dollars in order to begin payments according to the terms of the settlement agreement.[citation needed]

Camacho-Cruz administration edit

Due to various disagreements with Moylan during their first term, Camacho picked freshman senator Michael W. Cruz as his running mate in 2006. Camacho again defeated Robert Underwood (this time with senator Frank Aguon Jr. as running mate) to win the governorship for a second term.[8]

In 2006 the news reached Guam that a large contingent of US Marines were to be relocated to Guam from Okinawa. At the same time, Guam was being considered to be a homeport for an aircraft carrier, a defense shield system, and as the host to a larger US Air Force presence. As many as 70,000 new people would possibly move to the island, some only for the buildup period, but many others would make Guam their home permanently.[citation needed]

All of these plans were tentative – requiring studies and analysis. The Camacho Administration began meeting with US defense officials to discuss the implications the buildup would have on the island. Before long those meetings and studies became highly politicized as certain senators wanted to be included in the planning meetings but were not.[citation needed]

Upon receiving news of the Department of Defense agreement with the Government of Japan, Camacho created a civilian-military task force to begin a detailed planning effort that continued throughout his second term. Letters, resolutions, petitions and news releases as well as scoping meetings at various locations around the island brought more attention to the matter than any other issue during Camacho's term. More than 10,000 people turned in comments on the Environmental Impact Statement about the military buildup describing their concerns, a first for Guam.[citation needed]

Calvo–Tenorio administration edit

On April 30, 2010, Calvo announced that he would leave the Legislature at the end of his present term. In the same speech, Calvo simultaneously told supporters at Chamorro Village that he intended to seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Guam in 2010. He chose Senator Ray Tenorio as his running mate. Calvo-Tenorio went on to defeat Lieutenant Governor Michael Cruz in the Republican primary election on September 4, 2010, and ran against former Democratic Governor Carl Gutierrez and his running mate, Senator Frank Aguon. The Calvo-Tenorio ticket won the 2010 gubernatorial election by a slim margin, and although the final count was enough to win the election, it was still within 2% of the Guiterrez Aguon ticket. Immediately after the election, a recount was ordered by the Guam Election Commission.[citation needed]

In March 2012, he endorsed Mitt Romney for president.[citation needed]

The Calvo–Tenorio team ran for a second term in the 2014 general election against the Democratic team of former Governor Gutierrez and Gary "Frank" Gumataotao.[citation needed]

Republican members of the Guam Legislature edit

Senator[9] Position
Christopher M. Duenas Minority Leader
Frank F. Blas Jr. Minority Whip
Telo Taitague
Mary Camacho Torres
V. Anthony Ada
Joanne M.S. Brown
James C. Moylan

The 2020 general election saw the seats of the two incumbent Republican senators taken by returning former senators Tony Ada, Chris Duenas, Frank Blas Jr. and Joanne M.S. Brown.[citation needed]

Republican mayors and vice mayors of Guam edit

Name[10] Municipality
Mayor Paul M. McDonald Agana Heights
Mayor Kevin J.T. Susuico Agat
Vice Mayor Christopher "Chris" J. Fejeran
Mayor John A. Cruz Hagatna
Mayor Allan "Al" R.G. Ungacta Mangilao
Mayor Ernest T. Chargualaf Merizo
Mayor Jesse L.G. Alig Piti
Mayor Louise C. Rivera Tamuning-Tumon
Vice Mayor Albert M. Toves
Mayor Johnny A. Quinata Umatac
Mayor Anthony "Tony" P. Sanchez Yigo
Vice Mayor Loreto V. Leones

Mayor Kevin J.T. Susuico and Vice Mayor Chris Fejeran have held their positions since they were first elected by the people of Agat in 2016.

After holding the position of Vice Mayor of Yigo since 2013, Anthony "Tony" P. Sanchez was elected as Mayor of Yigo with his running mate Loreto V. Leones in 2020. Likewise, Louise C. Rivera, who held the position of Vice Mayor since the 2012 election, was elected as Mayor of Barrigada with his running mate Albert M. Toves in 2020.

Party officials edit

Name Position
Juan Carlos Benítez Chairman
La'Kiesha Pereda Vice-chairwoman[11]
Jim Marvin Terbio Second Vice-Chairman
Bharat Shringi Executive Director
Evelyn Casil Treasurer
Sharon Cassidy Secretary
Benny Pinaula Sergeant-at-Arms
Eddie Baza Calvo National Committeeman[11]
Michelle Gibson National Committeewoman[11]

Recent chairmen edit

Name Term
Michael "Mike" Benito 2000's–2016
Victor Cruz 2016–2018
Jerry Crisostomo 2018–2020
Vicente "Tony" Ada 2020
Juan Carlos Benitez 2021–present

Election performance edit

Governor edit

Election Candidate Outcome of election
1970 Carlos G. Camacho and Kurt S. Moylan Won
1974 Paul M. Calvo and Antonio M. Palomo Lost in primary
Carlos G. Camacho and Kurt S. Moylan Lost in Election Day
1978 Paul M. Calvo and Joseph F. Ada Won
1982 Kurt S. Moylan and Frank F. Blas Lost in primary
Paul M. Calvo and Peter "Pete" F. Perez Lost in Election Day
1986 Joseph F. Ada and Frank F. Blas Won
1990 Joseph F. Ada and Frank F. Blas Won
1994 Thomas "Tommy" Tanaka and Doris F. Brooks Lost in Election Day
Frank F. Blas and Simon A. Sanchez II Lost in primary
1998 Joseph F. Ada and Felix P. Camacho Lost in Election Day
2002 Antonio "Tony" Unpingco and Eddie J.B. Calvo Lost in primary
Felix P. Camacho and Kaleo S. Moylan Won
2006 Kaleo S. Moylan and Francis E. Santos Lost in primary
Felix P. Camacho and Michael W. Cruz Won
2010 Michael W. Cruz and James Espaldon Lost in primary
Eddie J.B. Calvo and Ray S. Tenorio Won
2014 Eddie J.B. Calvo and Ray S. Tenorio Won
2018 Ray S. Tenorio and V. Anthony "Tony" Ada Lost in Election Day

Notable members edit

Governors edit

Lieutenant governors edit

Congressional delegates edit

Speakers of the Guam Legislature edit

  • Carlos P. Taitano (3rd Speaker of the Guam Legislature under the Territorial Party)
  • Joseph Franklin Ada (6th Speaker of the Guam Legislature)
  • Tommy Tanaka (7th Speaker of the Guam Legislature)
  • Antonio R. Unpingco (12th Speaker of the Guam Legislature)
  • Mark Forbes (14th Speaker of the Guam Legislature)

Senators of the Guam Legislature edit

Mayors edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Republican Party of Guam, Retrieved April 21, 2014
  2. ^ a b c Rogers 1995, p. 240.
  3. ^ Stade 1998, p. 115.
  4. ^ a b c Rogers 1995, p. 234.
  5. ^ a b c d e Babauta, Leo. "Territorial Party of Guam". Guampedia. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  6. ^ 2001 Congressional Record, Vol. 147, Page E328
  7. ^ Shuster 2004, p. 25.
  8. ^ "UNDERWOOD, Robert A. | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  9. ^ Guam Legislature, 35th Guam Legislature - Senators, Hagatna, 2019.
  10. ^ Mayors' Council of Guam. Mayors/Vice Mayors Directory, Hagatna, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Members - Guam, Retrieved April 21, 2014

Sources edit

  • Rogers, Robert F. (1995). Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Shuster, Donald R. (2004). "Elections on Guam, 1970–2002". Pacific Studies. 27 (1/2): 22–67.
  • Stade, Ronald (1998). Pacific Passages: World Culture and Local Politics in Guam. Stockholm: Stockholm Studies in Social Anthropology.

External links edit