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    Wednesday, June 19, 2019-6:39:58P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Marco Peter wins special House election

REPUBLICAN Party candidate Marco Taisakan Peter convincingly won the special House election on Saturday.

Peter, 46, garnered a total of 863 votes in the four-way race for the House seat that became vacant when Republican Rep. Francisco S. Dela Cruz passed away in January.

Finishing second was the Democratic Party candidate, former Rep. Donald Cabrera Barcinas who garnered 447 votes.

Third and fourth were Independent candidates David Castro Sablan, 233 votes; and Mariano Deleon Guerrero Fajardo, 194.

Peter garnered the most number of absentee and early votes, and the most number of Election Day votes in Precinct 3A/Oleai and Precinct 3B/Garapan.

A week-long early-voting period preceded Election Day, but the turnout was still low.

“It was not as much as we hoped for,” Commonwealth Election Commission administrative officer Kayla Igitol said. “Of the over 3,800 registered voters in Precinct 3, a little over half of them cast their votes, but the number of ‘good ballots’ was 1,737 only. There were ballots, especially among the absentee votes, that were either spoiled, lacked affidavits or were invalid.”

Igitol said because the CEC had a short period of time to prepare for the special election, the commission had to procure the ballots locally. These ballots were not compatible with the CEC’s tabulation machines, she added.

“So we had to use the alternative route which was to manually count the ballots,” Igitol said, adding that the counting went smoothly at the multi-purpose center “where everyone was given the opportunity to watch” the tabulation.

Rep.-elect Marco T. Peter, in an interview on Saturday night, thanked his family, his campaign committee and the NMI Republican Party for its full support.

He is also thankful to the Precinct 3 community “for giving me the opportunity to serve you.”

NMI Republicans join Marco Taisakan Peter and his family in celebrating his victory in the Precinct 3 special election at the residence of his campaign committee chairman, former Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb.  Photo by Emmanuel T. EredianoNMI Republicans join Marco Taisakan Peter and his family in celebrating his victory in the Precinct 3 special election at the residence of his campaign committee chairman, former Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

He said his campaign committee was “awesome and the best.”

Former Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb, who chaired the committee, said: “The support of the people in this democratic system is really something to be thankful for — the voters came out an exercised their fundamental right.”

He added, “Whether they like politics or not, it will impact their lives so it is important that they come out and say their piece.”

Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said they are “very happy and delighted” that Peter won the special election and will succeed the late Rep. Francisco S. Dela Cruz “who was certainly a very good and honorable legislator.”

Peter’s mother, former Rep. Malua Peter, thanked God, family members and other supporters who made her son’s victory possible.

She wants him “to do his best as a public servant.”

NMI Republican Party Chairman James Ada thanked the Precinct 3 voters for coming out to exercise their right in the special election.

“All along for the past two months we have been working hard with the Committee-to-Elect Marco as well with other supporters. This is a huge for Marco and GOP. Now we have increased our majority in the House,” he said.

Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao, another Precinct 3 Republican, said it is always a good thing to have another member in the leadership.

Marco T. Peter will be the 13th Republican member of the 20-seat House.

“We still have to work with the minority bloc, of course,” Attao said, referring to the seven Independent House members. “As you already know, the House leadership has been working harmoniously with the minority bloc so far.