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ST. CROIX — Veteran Senator Positive Nelson announced on Monday that he would seek the highest office of the USVI in the 2018 gubernatorial race, an announcement that changes the current dynamics of the gubernatorial field, while creating an opening in the Senate that was all but secured for Mr. Nelson.
The announcement came during a press event Mr. Nelson held at the Palms at Pelican Cove, where he sought to address the multiple issues facing the territory in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the potential $7.5 billion windfall in disaster funding from the federal government, as well as his qualms with the community disaster loan that saw the local government agreeing to giving the federal government debt service payment priority over the territory’s current bondholders.
“I’m saying that there’s going to be a point in time that we are going to have to make a declaration and the papers are turned in,” Mr. Nelson said of his run. “I would like to have my papers turned in with my name as governor and a lieutenant governor with me pursuing the seat of governor.”
He added, “Between now and then I have work to do; I cannot be distracted, but I’m just making it clear to the people that put me in the race, if you think about somebody that can run this place, consider me.”
Pressed for clarification from this reporter, Mr. Nelson said, “Mr. Gilbert, Positive T.A. Nelson, the answer is yes.” Earlier, Mr. Nelson said, “I am willing to be your next governor if you’re tired of this one.”
The full story on Mr. Nelson’s press conference — including comments on his medicinal marijuana legislation that is languishing in a committee whose chair is a staunch opponent of the measure — will be published early Tuesday.
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