Senator Javan James. By. V.I. LEGISLATURE
Senator Javan James, who has been fielding unrelenting criticism for his vote in favor of a bill that gave Southland Gaming exclusivity through 2041 for video lottery terminals in the St. Thomas-St. John District — the only St. Croix lawmaker to do so — announced late Thursday that he would not seek reelection when his term ends this year.
The exclusivity deal is a lucrative arrangement bringing in tens of millions of dollars in revenue for Southland Gaming, and senators who opposed the measure argued forcefully for it to be held for further vetting. Even so, the measure passed during a Senate session on April 7 with eight senators voting in favor and seven against.
Tonight, Mr. James said he would not run for another term as his family seeks to spend more time together. “I am very thankful for the opportunity to have serve the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands for two consecutive terms (33rd and 34th Legislature of the Virgin Islands). I will not be seeking a third term. My wife and I are looking forward to spending more time with our children so that they can become productive citizens of this community. My team and I are proud of our body of work that came as a result of the hard work and dedication from the Office of Senator Javan E. James,” Mr. James said.
He added, “I am hoping that the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands pay close attention to who has their best interest at heart. Please take the time to research and review the Bills that were proposed and signed into law by the incumbents. It is time that we focus on electing people to the Senate who truly understands the legislative process and has a track record of getting meaningful Bills passed. The legislature is more than just signing on to your colleague’s legislation to get some credit. One must be skilled in writing laws and getting their colleagues to support them. The job of a Senator is to pass legislation, provide oversight, and appropriate funds. I pray that Governor Albert Byran, Jr. continues to focus on the people whom he serves."
The senator thanked the people of the Virgin Islands for their support of his bid during the 2018 and 2020 senatorial elections, and he sent best wishes to aspiring candidates seeking office during the upcoming 2022 general election.