CNMI elects first Independent Governor and Lt. Governor

From left, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, Independent Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Second Lady Wella S. Palacios with Democratic Rep. Christina Marie E. Sablan and Rep. Leila Haveia F.C. Staffler.
From left, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, Independent Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Second Lady Wella S. Palacios with Democratic Rep. Christina Marie E. Sablan and Rep. Leila Haveia F.C. Staffler.

This January, the Northern Mariana Islands will welcome its first independent governor and lieutenant governor, after a heated gubernatorial runoff election between Governor Ralph DLG Torres and his former running mate, Lieutenant Governor Arnold I. Palacios.

Palacios, a former Republican, ran as an Independent with Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, while Torres ran as an incumbent Republican with Senate Floor Leader Vinson F. Sablan. In the previous two gubernatorial runoff elections in 2009 and 2014, the incumbent governor won.

Running on the platform of “rebuilding trust” in the local government, the Independents

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