"Principled Leadership and Forty years of Commitment to the People of the CNMI"
Senate Special Election
For months we have all known that Senator Ray Yumul is the running mate for Heinz Hofschneider in the gubernatorial race this year. Those of us familiar with the Commonwealth Constitution (which should include every member of the Legislature and every person aspiring to public office) also knew that the CNMI Constitution would require Senator Yumul to step down:
An elected public official shall resign from office upon certification to be a candidate for another public office, if the term of the office sought begins before the end of the term of the office held.
CNMI Const. art. XVIII § 5
Those of us familiar with the Commonwealth Constitution (which, again, should include every member of the Legislature and every person aspiring to public office) likewise knew what would happen then: there would be a vacancy in the Senate that would have to be filled according to the constitutional provision governing such matters:
A vacancy in the legislature shall be filled by special election if one-half or more of the term remains. If less than one-half of the term remains, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointing the unsuccessful candidate for the office in the last election who received the largest number of votes and is willing to serve or, if no candidate is available, a person qualified for the office from the district represented.
CNMI Const. art. II § 9
Accordingly, I gave careful thought to the question of how best the special election might be conducted. I talked with members of the public and political vetrans both, well before I ever submitted my declaration of candidacy and nominating petition. I reviewed the law, and I wrote to my fellow candidates on the subject well before the Commonwealth Election certified anyone for any office.