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Kilili to seek reelection

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(Committee to Reelect Kilili) —  U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, along with family members and friends spread out to respect the need for social distancing, filed for re-election Monday at the Commonwealth Election Commission office on Saipan.

Congressman Sablan released the following statement to the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, setting out his reasons for running for office and his vision for the years ahead:

“Thanks to the people of the Northern Marianas for trusting me to work for our islands in the U.S. Congress.

“This election takes place when the Marianas is in the middle of a deep crisis. We are all trying to keep safe from the coronavirus and struggling to rebuild and reopen our economy.

“I have worked harder than ever over the last two years: Making sure the people of the Marianas had every possible form of aid from the federal government to recover from typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu. And now responding to the virus. Making sure we can all stay healthy and get back to work.

“We have been tremendously successful. More money than the Marianas has ever seen before. Money to help our hospital respond to the coronavirus. Money to rebuild our water systems, our power grid, our schools. Cash in people’s pockets.

U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan files his candidacy at the Commonwealth Election Commission office Monday with his family members and supporters which include former Gov. Carlos S. Camacho.

 

U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan with his family and other supporters pose for a photo outside the Commonwealth Election Commission on Monday. Contributed photos

“But we are not back to normal yet. It may be years before we are back to normal.

“I struggled with this decision to run again. I love being home. With my family. With my friends. Living the island life we all cherish.

“But I feel I have a responsibility.

“The people entrusted me with 12 years in Congress, learning how to get what the Marianas needs. I do not know how I could walk away, now, in the middle of a crisis, when what I have learned, my experience, is needed more than ever. It would not be right.

“So, I am running again.

As always, I will run as an independent. I caucus with the Democrats in Congress — and it has been great being in the majority these last two years. But here at home Democratic and Republican party ideologies are not that important. What we all care about is making sure we take care of our families, our children are educated, and we preserve these islands we love.

“That is what I worked for over the last 12 years. That is what I will keep working for.

“I will keep working to make sure the people of the Marianas have every possible advantage as members of the American family.

“I will use my position as chair of the subcommittee responsible for schools nationwide — and I still find it humbling to know that because of my length of service the representative from the Marianas is responsible in this way for all of America’s schools — so every child has every opportunity to learn and grow.

“And I will keep working, as the vice chair responsible for insular area policy in the U.S. House of Representatives, to be a leader for the Marianas and for islanders throughout the Pacific and the Caribbean.

“I recently lost my friend and colleague Mike Tenorio. He would have been at the election commission  as I filed my papers.

“I miss him every day. But Mike’s passing reminds me that life is a gift from God, and we are expected to use our lives to do as much good as we can.

“I think the best use I can make of my life and my experience is to work in Congress to make the lives of everyone in the Marianas happy, healthy, and prosperous. So, that is what I will do, as long as the people approve. I put myself in your hands.”

Congressman Kilili has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2009 for the people of the Northern Mariana Islands. He currently serves as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, as well as vice chairman of the Natural Resources Committee responsible for insular area policy.

Congressman Kilili won election to his sixth term in office in 2018 with 64% of the vote.

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