Aug. 13, 2002 – As of the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday for candidates to file for elective office, the gubernatorial race took a flamboyant turn as Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen tossed her hat in the ring, with staff researcher Thomas "Eddie" Donoghue as her running mate.
The eight-term St. Croix senator has dominated political reporting for the last month as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has been holding Fiscal Year 2003 budget hearings. Her ongoing feud with Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II over his failure to appear before her committee and her committee's subsequent slashing of his budget request led to both officials holding press conferences on Monday.
In the morning, James, who also is running for governor, told the news media that he would have to lay off critically needed staff. In the afternoon, Hansen said the committee made cuts in areas where it considered new unclassified positions unnecessary. When a reporter asked if she was running for re-election to the Senate, she did not answer directly but said a surprise might be in store.
Hansen's decision took some of her Senate colleagues and more than a few political watchers by surprise. Most of them wondered out loud — on condition of not being named — whether she knew what she was doing. Hansen, in her 18 years in the Legislature, has seldom left anyone wondering what she was doing. She is nothing if not direct in her periodic tirades unleashed on the Senate floor.
Donoghue, a Montserrat native, has worked for many years as a researcher in various offices of the Legislature and was named head of public information for the Education Department by Gov. Roy L. Schneider, who later fired him over political differences. He has written several plays which have been produced locally for television and stage and is a familiar face to theatergoers at the Little Theater and Reichhold Center for the Arts at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas. This year he published a book titled "Black Women, White Men: The Sexual Exploitation of Female Slaves in the West Indies."
The Hansen/Donoghue ticket is one of eight seeking the territory's top executive offices. Two are running under party banners — Michael Bornn and Arnold M. Golden on the Republican ticket and incumbent Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and Vargrave Richards as the Democratic standard bearers.
Running as independent duos in addition to Hansen/Donoghue are:
Cora Christian/George Hodge Jr.
John de Jongh/Paul Arnold
Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II/Maryleen Thomas
Hernando "Ike" Williams/J. Marius
Lloyd Williams/K. Gonzalez Jr.
For delegate to Congress, incumbent Donna M. Christensen, a Democrat, has three challengers — Republican Lilliana Belardo de O'Neal, ICM member Virdin C. Brown and independent Garry A. Sprauve.
All senators of the 24th Legislature are seeing re-election except for Hansen and Vargrave Richards, who has been tapped by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull as his running mate the second time around. Turnbull and his running mate of four years ago, Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II, have feuded openly for much of their four-year term, and James is now challenging Turnbull for the top spot.
The Senate race is shaping up to be an active one. A total of 23 candidates are seeking the seven St. Thomas-St. John district seats — seven running as Democrats, two as Republicans and the remainder as independents. Another 23 are running for the seven in the St. Croix district — 10 as Democrats, four as Republicans and two as Independent Citizens Movement members. There are four candidates for the single at-large seat, whose occupant must reside on St. John — two running as Democrats, one as a Republican and one as an ICM member.
It appears that two primary elections will be needed, both for the Democratic Party — to select seven Democratic candidates for the St. Croix district out of the 10 who are running, and to select one of the two party members seeking the at-large seat.
The Senate aspirants for the St. Thomas-St. John district:
Wayne "Facts Man"Adams, independent
Dwayne A. Benjamin, independent
Lorraine Berry, Democrat
Lawrence Boschulte, Republican
Donald "Ducks" Cole, independent
Roosevelt David, Democrat
Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, independent
Carlton "Ital" Dowe, independent
Gilmore Estrill. Sr., Democrat
Stephen "Smokey" Frett, independent
Nicholas "Nick" Friday, independent
Louis P. Hill, Democrat
Kevin Robert Jennings, Republican
Winthrop Maduro, Democrat
Shawn-Michael Malone, Democrat
Norma Pickard-Samuel, independent
Riise Smith Richards, independent
Kevin Rodriquez, Democrat
Malik Sekou, independent
Ludrick Thomas, independent
Patricia Varlack, independent
Celestino A. White, independent
Alvin Williams, independent
Those seeking Senate seats in the St. Croix district:
Robert Acosta, Republican
Elroi E. Baumann, Democrat
Ramon Benitez, independent
Adelbert M. Bryan, ICM
Douglas E. Canton Jr., Democrat
Reuben Fenton, Republican
Juan Figueroa-Serville, Democrat
Hope Gibson, independent
Oneida Dione Granger, independent
Emmett Hansen II, independent
Malcolm Harris, Democrat
G. Luz A. James, Democrat
Norman Jn Baptiste, independent
David Jones, Democrat
Noel Loftus, Republican
Steve Nisky, independent
Mary Ann Pickard, Democrat
Luther F. Renee, Democrat
Raymond "Usie" Richards, ICM
Luis Antonio Rodriguez, independent
Ronald E. Russell, Democrat
Michael Thurland, Democrat
Ophelia "Nemmy" Williams-Felix Jr., Democrat
Running for the at-large Senate seat are:
Craig Barshinger, Democrat
Harry Daniel, Democrat
Almando "Rocky" Liburd, ICM
Wilma Marsh Monsanto, Republican
For the complete list of all candidates, including those for the Board of Elections and for offices within the Democratic Party, Independent Citizens Movement and Republican Party, see "Who is running for what office in the fall".
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