ST. CROIX — In an event at the La Reine Chicken Shack Saturday evening, gubernatorial candidate Allison Petrus announced Senator Sammuel Sanes as his running mate in the 2018 general election, praising the longtime lawmaker as a family man who has served his community exceptionally. He described Mr. Sanes as a partner who will be an integral part of his administration’s decision-making process, and as a great listener — a trait Mr. Petrus said he found to be attractive.
As for the current administration, the hopeful leader said government, as it currently stands, is not working for the people.”[Sanes] and I both agree that government right now is not working for the people, and one of the things that we have to do is we have to change government to make it work for the people,” Mr. Petrus said while introducing his running mate.”
Mr. Sanes eventually took to the small podium to officially speak as a potential lieutenant governor, in front of a small gathering at the restaurant — most of whom appeared to be having their own conversations and disengaged from the actual event. Mr. Sanes, at one point, suggested that supporters of his wanted to attend the announcement but were afraid of losing their jobs.
“I know a lot of people that want to be here,” he said. “They want to be here but they are afraid. They’re afraid to be here because they’re afraid for their jobs. And ladies and gentlemen, isn’t it sad when we live in a time that we cannot even come to a gathering without being fearful of losing our jobs?”
Nevertheless, the senator spoke with confidence about the ticket and its ability to win the Democratic primary in August.
“Tonight I am so proud to accept the call to be your Democratic candidate for the lieutenant governor’s position,” he proclaimed. “I am honored — extremely honored — to have been asked to join with my friend and the next governor of the Virgin Islands, Mr. Alley Petrus.”
He expressed confidence in Mr. Petrus’s ability to lead the territory in a direction of prosperity, “and he’s going to get back what this territory needs,” Mr. Sanes said, “a government that works for you the people of the Virgin Islands.”
“Keep that phrase in mind,” he stressed, “a government that works for you.”
Mr. Sanes schemed through his long list of service and accomplishments before becoming a lawmaker and during his years in the Senate.
As for the ticket’s platform and how it intends to move the territory out of its current position, Mr. Sanes said the team will layout its full vision at a later date, “But I’m going to tell you right now, this time, the Petrus/Sanes team, will make everybody proud,” he said.
Mr. Sanes’s decision to join Mr. Petrus in the race for governor opens yet another Senate seat in the St. Croix district. So far, along with Mr. Sanes’s seat, the all but assured Senate seat of Positive Nelson, who announced that he would be seeking the gubernatorial seat this year, is open; Senator Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly recently told The Consortium that she hadn’t decided whether to run (Mrs. Rivera-O’Reilly has a history of declaring her desire to retire, but winds up running — and winning — anyway); and there’s talk in political circles that Senator Neville James won’t seek reelection, although Mr. James hasn’t publicly stated his intentions.
This leaves at least two new individuals among the many vying for a Senate seat in the St. Croix District, with openings.