Republicans want Bolis to run against Kilili

SOME leaders of the NMI Republican Party, including the governor, have been urging public library executive director John Oliver Bolis Pangelinan Gonzales to challenge Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan in the delegate election this November.

Gonzales, a member of the 1995 constitutional convention, finished third in the nine-man race won by Sablan in 2008.

Gonzales also ran for senator in 2001 on the Covenant Party slate but lost.

Key NMI Republicans who declined to be identified told Variety that Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, the party chairman, wants Gonzales to be the GOP’s bet for delegate.

A GOP official said there’s “nobody else,” except for Gonzales who can challenge Sablan.

The party official believes that Gonzales lost to Sablan in 2008 “because there were nine of them” running for delegate.

Gonzales, whose father is Filipino, will also have a better chance of getting the votes of U.S. citizens born to guest workers, the Republican official said.

Fitial, however, has opposed Sablan’s proposal to grant CNMI-only status to nonresident parents of U.S. citizen children.

Asked for comment, Gonzales said: “I have been receiving many calls from the voters asking me to run for delegate.”

Asked if he will run on the GOP ticket, Gonzales declined to comment.

All he could say was that right now, he is “focused on the public library’s programs.”

Gonzales is also a member of the campaign committee of Illuminanda Reyes Bermudes, an Independent candidate for Saipan’s senatorial seat.

Kimo Rosario, also a member of the committee, said they have  not heard anything from Gonzales regarding the delegate race.

“As far as we know, he is not running for delegate,” Rosario added.