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Featured / News / Politics / Virgin Islands / November 19, 2014

Late Tuesday night, Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen, who lost her bid to become the next governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands to rival Kenneth Mapp, arrived at her campaign headquarters in Barren Spot to a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters with the 1979 hit song, “We Are Family” piping through large speakers set up in the parking lot .

Even before Christensen arrived from St. Thomas, where she met with supporters there and made the rounds on local radio stations, it was hard to tell that the Delegate had not emerged victorious in the run-off election, as campaign workers stationed at Barren Spot maintained a celebratory mood with music, overflowing drinks, dancing and revelry.

When Christensen showed up, the celebration went to another level. She was given a hero’s welcome with cheers, hugs, waving campaign placards bearing her “#5” ballot number, and many verbal expressions of love and encouragement.

“We’re a family that prays and God always answers prayer,” Christensen said at the onset of her remarks to the packed room that overflowed onto the sidewalk. “He may not have answered it in the way we wanted it today, but it will be answered.”

Christensen supporters await her arrival at the campaign's St. Croix headquarters in Barren Spot.

Christensen supporters await her arrival at the campaign’s St. Croix headquarters in Barren Spot.

The longtime Congresswoman went on to say that her presence there that evening was not to give a concession speech, as she had already phoned Governor-elect Kenneth Mapp while she was in St. Thomas and extended her well wishes to him. She also said she had make a public statement on a St. Thomas radio station that evening, which delayed her arrival in St. Croix.

“This is a time for healing for the territory and all of you have offered yourself to be apart of a team that was all about unity, so we don’t want you to give up on that mission,” she said. “So, when we walk out tomorrow and the next day with our heads held high, we’re all going to need to be reaching out and embracing our opponents and the rest of the community because they’re going to need us. They’re going to need your good spirit, they’re going to need the hearts that are in each and everyone of you because there is a lot of work to be done.”

Then, in a moment of transparency, Christensen admitted her disappointment at the loss.

“You know, I can’t say that I’m not disappointed,” she said, garnering cheers and expressions of encouragement from the crowd. One supporter loudly chimed in, “I’m not disappointed; I’m heartbroken.”

Christensen continued, “There are wins and then there are wins, and as Basil said, ‘We have won in many ways’. We’ve won all of you as our family now, but I think we’ve won the moral battle. We’ve won the battle of integrity. This is what is needed and we’re going to continue to give it to them.”

Christensen added that her decision to run for governor came “out of dedication to the Virgin Islands and the people of the Virgin Islands, and that does not end because we did not win this election. That’s a life-long commitment. It started many years ago and it will continue to our last breath.”

After her public remarks, the VI Consortium caught up with the Delegate as she continued to greet supporters. When asked how she felt about coming up short in the run-off after a strong showing in the November 4 General Election, Christensen again reiterated her disappointment.

“I am disappointed, but Basil and I will look over the campaign and dissect it and do a postmortem on it,” she said. “But, we feel that we did our best and, as I’ve said, we had a great team of people. We may not have had all the money, all of the experts, but we had some really good experts right here within our team that really gave their all to this campaign.”

Gubernatorial candidate Donna Christensen addressing supporters on NOvember 18, 2014.

Gubernatorial candidate Donna Christensen addressing supporters following run-off election results on Nov. 18.

However, despite the loss that saw Mapp leading her by more than 6,000 votes, Christen said she remained in good spirits.

“Although I’m disappointed, I’m not down, I’m not broken, it’s a race and in one way or another, that race continues–whether as governor or in some other way,” she offered. “Because, again, our intent has always been to serve the people of the territory and so that will always be our mission.”

Christensen then reflected on her nearly two decades in the U.S. House of Representatives, a position now held by Stacey Plaskett, who won the seat in the General Election on November 4.

“I’ve had eighteen great years where the people of the Virgin Islands have given me the honor and privilege of representing them in Congress and they’ve been good years, not only for me, but they’ve been good years for the people of this territory, and hopefully those that have not seen it will see it in due season. Sometimes, people have to look back to see what has actually been done.”

She went on to thank all of her campaign workers as well as the voters “who have voted for us on all three islands,” adding, “Again, it is important that I congratulate the winning team of Kenneth Mapp and Osbert Potter and their workers for their commitment to that team. We want to see the Virgin Islands move forward, so we’re going to be apart of the healing that has to take place after a very, sometimes divisive, campaign.”

Now that the lengthy campaign season is over, Christensen laughed as she said she looks forward to “a couple days of good rest.”

The latest unofficial results reported by the Virgin Islands Elections System as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, are seen below:

RUN DATE:11/18/14     NOVEMBER 18, 2014
          (VOTE FOR)  1
           Kenneth E. Mapp (IND)  .  .  .  .  .  .    15,268   63.89
           Donna Christensen (DEM).  .  .  .  .  .     8,573   35.87
           WRITE-IN (IND).  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        58     .24





Cynthia Graham

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