March 20 – Guam – Special Election for Senate Seat
Guam, one of the territories of the United States, has its own unicameral legislature. Though it does have a non-voting member of the United States Congress, this legislature oversees domestic issues facing the island.
The electoral process to elect Senators in Guam is fascinating. There are 15 at-large seats in the Senate, currently with a Democratic majority of 10 seats to Republicans’ 5. However, all candidates run against each other and the top 15 vote recipients are elected. This election is held every 2 years. In 2008, there were 26 candidates.
However, a Democratic Senator, Matt Rector, has resigned after it came to light that he failed to disclose a criminal conviction in his youth. Also the President of the Guam Federation of Teachers, he had faced other ethics questions related to holding both positions.
Voters will go to the polls on March 20 to pick his replacement. They will be choosing between 6 candidates, 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans.
The Democrats are Roque Aguon, a communications consultant as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Guam, Martin Benavente, the Chief of Staff for Senator Tina Muna Barnes, Art De Oro, an adjunct professor at the Guam Community College and an army veteran, and Sarah Thomas-Nededog, the executive director of Sanctuary Inc. and a social work professor at the University of Guam
The two Republicans are Tony Ada, Guam’s director of the Department of Youth Affairs, an army veteran and son of powerful former Senator Ben Diaz, and William Sarmiento, a teacher at Inarajan Middle School in Santa Rita.