GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Friday said he wishes fellow Republicans Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang luck in their candidacies.

Palacios and Apatang have announced that they were running for governor and lt. governor in next year’s elections.

Asked about the AD team’s campaign slogan, “Rebuilding Trust,” Torres said: “I respect their slogan…. They have [a campaign] to run and that’s their slogan and I’ll leave it [at] that at this moment.... I wish them both luck.”

Torres said he has always respected Palacios — his running mate in the 2018 elections — and the lt. governor’s office itself.

Torres said his and Palacios’ current work dynamic has not changed, adding that they will continue to work together for the betterment of the community.

The governor was also asked to comment on the Republican lawmakers who have expressed their support for the Palacios-Apatang ticket: House Vice Speaker Blas Jonathan T. Attao, House Floor Leader Ralph N. Yumul, and Rep. John Paul Sablan.

“We all have decisions in our life that we make,” Torres said. “We’re all elected. We all have integrity to uphold, and that decision that they make has to be respected. I have never wavered on my party, even when I was asked to run as a lt. governor with the late Gov. [Eloy] Inos who was part of the Covenant Party at the time. I stayed Republican and throughout my political career, I’ve always been a Republican. So, I will…continue to be a Republican, a proud Republican for that matter. [But] I respect those decisions that have been made. We still need to work together for the betterment of our community. There are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed and I hope that we can continue to work together. That’s why we were elected in the first place,” said the governor whose new running mate is Senate Floor Leader Vinnie F. Sablan.

“My dedication to our community has not changed,” the governor said. “I’ve always done my best and I’ve always dedicated my energy.... I’ve been tested numerous times,” referring to Typhoons Soudelor, Mangkhut and Yutu, and now the Covid-19 global pandemic.

“Who’s been at the airport? Who’s been at the alternate care site? Who’s been, every day, out there, while others, whether an elected official or what capacity you hold, you don’t see them around when the going gets tough.”

He added, “My dedication to the community is to bring back a better life for everyone, bring back the economy. I will continue to work.... My energy will always be there for them.... My love for my people has only grown stronger. I have a role that I was elected to perform and I need to move forward and continue doing what I’ve done in the beginning, prioritizing our community, trying to bring in investments, improving our economy. That has not changed. We will continue to work and make the lives of the CNMI people a lot better. My role and my dedication and my obligations have not changed. I’ll continue to work even harder to make sure that we’ll make our people’s lives a lot better.”

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