Supporters splash champagne on Governor Albert Bryan following his gubernatorial victory on Tues. Nov. 8, 2022. By. V.I. CONSORTIUM
Governor Albert Bryan Jr., the ninth elected governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, won Tuesday's gubernatorial race and cemented his legacy as a two-term leader. His victory over challenger Kurt Vialet gives Mr. Bryan an opportunity to continue what he started.
Based on unofficial results from the Elections System of the Virgin Islands ( found here), Mr. Bryan garnered 55.85% to Mr. Vialet's 38.35% territory-wide. A candidate needs 50 percent plus 1 vote to be declared the outright winner of a gubernatorial race in the general election, according to the Elections System of the Virgin Islands.
In same-day voting, Mr. Bryan ran up the margins in the St. Thomas-St. John District, where he collected 2876 over Mr. Vialet's 1309. On St. Croix, the race was tilted in the other direction, with the governor collecting 1834 votes, to Mr. Vialet's 2572. Early voters favored the incumbent heavily - 6834 votes for Mr. Bryan and 4045 for Mr. Vialet.
The victory caps a hotly contested election and allows Mr. Bryan to move forward with initiatives that have progressed during his tenure, including the rebuilding of the territory's schools damaged during Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the rebuild of the territory's hospitals and moving into JFL North, the modular hospital that has taken years to open under Mr. Bryan's leadership.
Mr. Vialet challenged the governor's record on the pace of recovery projects, nepotism among other alleged failures. But a majority of voters decided to give the governor a chance to complete his efforts and were persuaded by his achievements during his first four years, including coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, in some instances, stronger than before; saving the Government Employees' Retirement System; paying over $250 million in tax refunds and coming current — a feat not accomplished in at least 30 years; a territory-wide road-paving undertaking, among other efforts.
The mood over at the Bryan-Roach campaign was euphoric, as supporters and campaign diehards cheered for joy. At the Vialet-Sarauw headquarters, despondency was on the faces of many supporters, with their candidates having given up their seats in the Legislature in order to run - and lose - the gubernatorial race.