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Filing Documents are In: 21 Candidates Seek Senate Seat on St. Croix, 17 in St. Thomas-St. John District; Several Candidates Join Gubernatorial Race

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Tuesday was the last day for hopefuls seeking elected office in the USVI to file their documents with the Election System of the Virgin Islands, and the final list of individuals indicate heated contests in the senatorial race, with twenty-one candidates filing in the district of St. Croix, while seventeen hopefuls have thrown their hats in the ring in the St. Thomas-St. John District.

On St. Croix, while only one incumbent seat, Sen. Kurt Vialet’s, will be up for grabs, there are five new Democrats vying for a seat in the 35th Legislature, namely former lt. gov. candidate in the 2018 gubernatorial race with Angel Dawson, Marise James, as well as Hubert Lorenzo Frederick, Troy Williams, former senator Diane Capehart and Ophelia Williams-Jackson. They will challenge incumbents in the Democratic Primary on August 6, namely Senators Novelle Francis, Kenneth Gittens, Genevieve Whitaker and Javan James.

The race also has several independent challengers whose names will be on the ballot for the general election on November 8, including Leonardo Carrion Sr. and former Dept. of Licensing and Consumer Affairs commissioner, Devin Carrington, among others. Incumbent independent senators include Senators Franklin Johnson and Samuel Carrion.

In the St. Thomas-St. John District, new Democrat challengers include Lawrence Boschulte, Joel S. Browne Connors, KeShawn J. Louis, Teofilo Cipran and Shenelle Fina Francis. They will compete against incumbents Donna Frett-Gregory, Carla Joseph, Marvin Blyden and Milton Potter.

The at-large Senate race is shaping up to be an exciting battle, with challenger Angel Bolques Jr taking on beleaguered incumbent At-Large Senator Steven Payne in the Democratic Primary. Mr. Payne is currently being investigated by the Legislature after being accused of sexual harassment by one of his office’s young, female employees. Whoever wins in the primary will meet At-Large independent candidate Sherry-Ann Francis in the general election.

In the independent arena, former Dept. of Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner, Dawn Henry has joined the race and is already a favorite to take the seat of Sen. Janelle Sarauw, who is running as lt. gov. with Mr. Vialet, the St. Croix Democrat. 

Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett is running unopposed.

Relative to the gubernatorial race, Governor Bryan faces competition in the Democratic Primary contest from fellow Democrats Kent Bernier and Oakland Benta. In the general election, whoever wins will face the Vialet-Sarauw team, Stephen “Smokey” Frett-Gregory and “Brother” R. Miller Jr., an Independent Citizens Movement duo; independents Ronald Pickard and Elroy Turnbull, and Republican challenger Andrew Marrero.

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