US House of Representatives delegate candidate from Guam outlines economic platform

by Aug 28, 2020Economy, Elections, Guam0 comments

With the November elections less than three months away, candidates for office have continued to dig in with campaigning and messaging. In Guam, the race for a seat in the US House of Representatives is on, and candidate Robert Underwood (D) is looking to regain a post that he previously held. Dr. Underwood will be challenging incumbent candidate Michael San Nicolas in the August 29 Democratic Party Primary. One major aspect of his campaign, and something that prospective voters will certainly be looking at when they cast their ballot, is an economic plan for the territory moving into the future.

Dr. Underwood recently outlined the central pillars of his economic platform, for his prospective role in the House. One important aspect is that Dr. Underwood would like to ensure that the military would hire local workers and firms for contracting jobs, while also paying taxes for work completed in Guam. Guam is home to a US naval base, and military spending makes up a massive aspect of the territory’s economy, with $662 million recently appropriated to Guam under the National Defense Authorization Act. This would bring in significant revenue for the territory, while also increasing local employment. 

Under his plan, Dr. Underwood is also seeking to develop the knowledge economy in Guam, by improving technology and development within the territory. This is designed to diversify the territory’s economy, while looking towards the future of innovation during shifting economic and technological times. In his plan, Dr. Underwood also seeks to pursue the better management of workers in Guam and facilitate the tourism industry within the territory.

Dr. Underwood earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of California-Los Angeles, before earning a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California. He was a delegate to the US House of Representatives for Guam previously from 1993-2003 before unsuccessfully running for Governor in both 2002 and 2006. Most recently. Dr. Underwood served as president of the University of Guam from 2008-2018. Michael San Nicolas, the incumbent, has held the seat as delegate to the House of Representatives since 2019, having previously served three terms in the Guam Senate.