An openly gay men, Josh Tenorio, is almost certain to be elected Lieutenant Governor of Guam in the US midterm elections. His running mate, Lou Leon Guerrero, will become Governor. Results will become official when certified by Guam Election Commission.
Voting takes place across 67 precincts. With results in from a majority of the precincts, Leon Guerrero-Tenorio secured over 50.70% of the vote. Republican Tenorio-Ada earned 26.41% of the vote, and write-ins made up 22.88% of the vote. Leon Guerrero and Tenorio needed over 50% to clinch victory.
Tenorio becomes the first openly gay executive elected on Guam. The island, population 160,000, has had Republican governors for the past 16 years. Guerrero will take over from Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, who has been in office for the past eight years, and will become the first female governor in Guam.
— Guam PDN (@GuamPDN) November 6, 2018
Calvo did not stand for re-election, but his Lieutenant, Ray Tenorio (a distant cousin of Josh’s), hoped to replace him.
Guam’s is the United States’s most western territory. It’s closer to the Philippines and Papua New Guinea than the US mainland. As such, it began counting its votes when much of the US was still asleep. Polling stations closed at 7pm Chamorro Standard Time (4am in New York).
However, although a small territory, the swing to Democrat is significant. Guam is traditionally conservative and the Roman Catholic church continues to be an influential presence.
Born and raised in Guam, Josh Tenorio has tremendous experience in both the private sector and various branches of government. This includes working as an Administrator for the island’s courts. He’s been Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Guam and was the Guam Campaign Director for Obama for America 2008.
In an interview Sunday with Gay Star News, he explained his and Leon Guerrero’s priorities if elected would include boosting affordable healthcare on Guam, criminal justice reform and tackling public debt. He also wants to tackle Guam’s growing drug addiction problem.
He said the election of President Trump had encouraged him to accept Guerrero’s invitation to run alongside her.
‘There’s been a call to action for people to run because of the serious issues that are going on in the United States coming from the election of President Trump. A call for people to step out of their comfort levels and seek public office.’
The first victory of the #RainbowWave is in! @JoshuaTenorio2 will be the next Lieutenant Governor of Guam and his running mate, Lou Leon Guerrero, will be the first woman to govern the island. Women will also hold a majority of Guam's legislative seats for the first time ever. pic.twitter.com/fzlVUyZB09
— Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) November 6, 2018
There are dozens of LGBTI candidates standing for elected office in today’s midterm elections. If Tenorio’s result is repeated elsewhere, some predict a ‘Rainbow Wave’ of results.
Across the political spectrum, most eyes are focussed on whether the Democratic Party succeed in taking back control of one of the chambers of Congress. Most commentators believe the Democrats might take back the House of Representatives rather than the Senate. If they do, it will give them more leverage against President Trump.