ST. CROIX — As the 2018 gubernatorial year draws closer, candidates looking to run for the lofty position of governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands are beginning to position themselves as possessing the best acumen to lead the territory.
We’ve had announcements from Soraya Diase Coffelt and Warren Mosler, both independents hoping to upset Governor Kenneth Mapp in November 2018. And during a Democratic Territorial Committee meeting on Saturday, three Democrats made their intention known that they were organizing to run for the highest office of the land.
One of the candidates is Albert Bryan, according to a person who participated in the meeting that was held on St. Croix and via conference to those who couldn’t attend. Mr. Bryan told party leaders that he had already organized teams in both districts, and explained why he was the best to take on Mr. Mapp and the independent candidates next year.
Randolph Bennett, former Property and Procurement commissioner also revealed that he would be running for governor of the Virgin Islands, but Mr. Bennett kept is comments brief, this person said.
Also announcing his intention to run for governor was Adlah Donastorg, who told party leaders that experience should be an important consideration when running for elected office, especially the highest seat of the land.
But the candidates have yet to officially announce their bid to the public. Political observers tell The Consortium that the strategy may be to raise as much funds as possible before actually registering as a candidate, because once registration occurs, candidates must begin reporting to the Election System of the Virgin Islands contributions they receive, and must abide by the local cap on donations.
Even so, it is no secret that Mr. Bryan and Mr. Donastorg have been readying themselves for the 2018 election cycle, with both forming teams and both making known to individuals their intention to seek office. Mr. Bryan, for example, has responded directly to the current governor, challenging Mr. Mapp on multiple occasions. And Mr. Donastorg has consistently used Facebook to promote certain causes, paying for ads to widely spread his image as a servant of the people.
Mr. Bennett has been the only candidate whose announcement has not been accompanied with much visible campaigning, something The Consortium was told may change soon.
The Consortium was also told that the Democratic Party have been considering choosing a candidate without holding a Democratic primary election, but Troy Williams, Young Democrats of St. Croix chair, told this publication late Sunday that he wasn’t aware of any such consideration, and said the move was unlikely.
“The fact that these candidates all want to run, I believe that there’s going to be a primary taking place,” Mr. Williams said. “May the best candidate with the best ideas win.”
The Democratic Territorial Committee gave the Young Democrats of St. Croix its charter during the meeting. Mr. Williams said the group intends to get highly active during the election cycle in an effort to assure that the interests of the youth are fully represented.
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