June 8, 2006 – Sen. Celestino A. White Sr. will not be the next governor of the Virgin Islands. White announced on his regular WSTA radio program Thursday that he would not be a gubernatorial candidate in the next election.
After much verbal fanfare, White said that although there were others who had influenced his decision, he was ultimately persuaded by his mother's words to seek a seat in the 27th Legislature instead of the highest office in the land.
"What took the cake," White said, "was when I received the consultation of this person, Marjory Astor White Stevens, my dear and loving mother [who is] bedridden at Seaview [nursing home] as a result of a fall two months ago."
He said, "There is no one person who possesses the foresight and common sense of my mother.
"There were those who pleaded with me and asked I continue to seek re-election as a senator," he said, "and there were those who looked at my seeking the governorship as a good opportunity to get rid of Celestino White."
White, who has a large housing community constituency, said he was influenced by a letter he had received from housing community residents and Housing Authority employees, who pleaded with him to run for a seat in the 27th Legislature.
He quoted parts of the letter: "We are sending you an SOS because we cannot afford for you to seek the governorship because of conditions that are diminishing for employees and residents. By the end of this year, as you know it, it [public housing] would no longer exist."
White concluded, "People of the Virgin Islands, I am humbled by the confidence which you have placed in me. I appreciate the terms you have allowed me to serve. I will seek our support as I set my sights to the 27th Legislature of the Virgin Islands."
So far, the only declared candidates for the gubernatorial race are Democrat John de Jongh, with running mate Gregory Francis; Independent Kenneth Mapp and running mate Almando "Rocky" Liburd; and businessman Eldridge St. Claire Tobias, a Democrat who announced his bid at a Democratic Party meeting in May. Tobias has made no further announcement nor has he named a running mate.
Other potential Democratic candidates announced at a May 2 Democratic Party meeting were: Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, St. Thomas Administrator James O 'Bryan, Judge Edgar Ross and Senate President Lorraine L. Berry.
Speculation is rampant. Many are wondering if Berry will toss her bonnet in the ring, which she did several years ago.
Richards has advertised fund-raising events, as has Ross, but neither has declared.
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