July 8, 2006–The apparently unopposed Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen announced her re-election bid Thursday at Pier 69 in Frederiksted to an enthusiastic throng of supporters and well-wishers.
However, Christensen warned that being unopposed doesn't mean that she's a lock for the position – she must garner 50+1 percent of the votes cast for the delegate position in order to retain her seat.
"Although my announcement is for many or all of you a non-news event, and although I have no firm knowledge of an opponent at this time, it is important that I give an accounting of the last two years, that I let you know what I plan and envision for the 110th Congress and that I once again ask for your vote," the delegate said.
Christensen said that while she looked forward to her re-election, she also looked forward to continuing her longstanding commitment to health, education, housing, economic opportunity, and finding way to support the repair and construction of the infrastructure.
She said that the three themes which would guide her agenda in her sixth term would be: promoting harmony and balance between socio-economic groups in the Virgin Islands; promoting the welfare and wellbeing of the young people; and participating in and finding the funding to support a comprehensive rethinking of where we are and where we need to position ourselves for the future.
"My efforts in the new term will include continued work on the EDC benefits program. It will also include having my respective committees hold hearings in the territory as we address the important issues under their purview," she said. "The wheels of Congressional legislation move far more slowly than we would like, and I have some specific unfinished business I would like to see closed in the next Congress," she said.
Some of those efforts include permanently and completely lifting the cap and changing the match on Medicaid; extending SSI; closing the deal on the land for a school on St. John; ensuring the territory is fully authorized to establish municipal government; gaining more control of local waters and fisheries; and supporting the process to the successful adoption of a local constitution.
"I think we have demonstrated that we can deliver in a time of huge federal budget deficits, principally because of our relationship with Democratic leaders and key Republicans, as well as the leadership that I have been able to provide to my fellow Territorial Delegates who look to me for my experience in Congress," she said.
The five-term delegate listed amongst her recent legislative accomplishments the second passage of the Chief Financial Officer legislation; the passage and retroactive extension of the rum rebate at the $13.25 rate; increasing the Medicaid baseline funding for territories with the signing of the Deficit Reduction Act; and successfully amending the SAFE Ports Act.
Christensen, a staunch Democrat and 10-year veteran of Congress, touched on the gubernatorial race and its importance to the people of the Virgin Islands.
"This is a critical election," she said. "The territory is truly on the cusp of major change. We need a team that is willing to risk being a one-term administration so that they can be freed to make the tough decisions and so that they will be more likely guided by what is right and not what is politically expedient," she concluded.
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