Nov. 23 – Northern Mariana Islands Gubernatorial Race
Well this is a race you will not read much about. In one of the most stunningly beautiful corners of the world, a small possession of the United States will vote in a run-off election to choose their governor. Here, the choice is between the Covenant party and incumbent governor Benigno Fitial and the Republican Party and Heinz Hofschneider, currently a representative in the Northern Mariana Legislature.
To request an absentee ballot, contact the The Commonwealth Election Commission as soon as possible at (670)664-VOTE
The Northern Mariana Islands are a group of 15 islands with over 80,000 residents and lie just north of Guam, another territory of the United States. This position is for 4 years, as with US states and governors oversee the semi-autonomous government of the islands.
Current Governor Benigno Fitial is looking to be reelected for a second term under the party line he created, the Covenant Party, in 2001. To find out more about this candidate, click here.
However, much of the election has been overshadowed by the resignation of Fitial‘s Lieutenant Governor after being indicted on charges of corruption. Republican candidate Heinz Hofschneider is trying to unseat the incumbent. To visit his website, click here.
There have been two interesting developments in this race. This year is the first where NMI have had a runoff election and in the first round when joined by two independent candidates, Hofschneider won 8 more votes than Fitial. The election has been so close and so intense, more intense perhaps than any in the Islands’ history, that the two candidates traveled to the mainland of the United States to drum up support amongst potential absentee voters.
To read more about this fascinating race, click here for a news story from the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan. I bet you all wish you were on that beach below after voting. Looking out my window on the dark and cold streets of DC, I know I do.