Governor’s race in Guam heats up with San Nicolas challenge to incumbent Leon Guerrero
With Guam’s upcoming election in August, new friction emerged as Delegate Michael San Nicolas (D) filed his certificate of candidacy for governor of Guam on April 19. He also named his running mate, Sabrina Salas Matanane, the managing director of local productions at major Guam news outlet KUAM—officially commencing her career in the political arena. uu
Until now, members of the Guam Democratic Party were unsure if San Nicolas would run for office. San Nicolas is the delegate to the United States House of Representatives from Guam’s at-large district. He has also served as a Senator in the 32rd, 33rd, and 34th Guam legislatures. He has passed numerous bills, such as HR 2899, to create a National Heritage Area study to determine sites and areas in Guam that will qualify for National Heritage Areas. In 2019, he was the co-sponsor of HR 3631, a bill that, according to San Nicolas, will “…increase federal funding to Guam’s Medicaid program and prevent a lapse in Medicaid coverage on Guam.”
In a recent interview with the Island Times, San Nicolas reiterated his emphasis on the well-being of the people of Guam. “We need to focus the purpose of everything that we do as elected officials, everything that we do as a government, back on the people of Guam.” San Nicolas and Matanane aim to be nominated by the Democratic party to go on to the gubernatorial race against the Republican Party’s governor Felix Camacho.
His Democratic opponent, current governor Lou Leon Guerrero, has been in office since 2019 but has served in the Guam legislature for almost 30 years when in 1994 she was elected for the first of five terms. Similar to San Nicolas, she has emphasized making a direct, tangible impact on the people of Guam. Recently, she addressed the Our Oceans Conference, highlighting the need for conservancy. On April 28, 2022, she announced the launch of the Child Care Apprenticeship Program, which would aim to make child care more accessible and affordable for families of Guam, no matter socioeconomic status.
Both candidates claim and have taken steps that show they have the people of Guam’s best interest at the forefront of their political agendas. The primary election, which takes place on August 27, 2022, will conversely prove whether the people of Guam believe the term of Guerro should be extended or whether San Nicolas should take the position and implement that legislation he promises.