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Ross-Berry Ticket Makes Democratic Primary a Three-Way Race

July 5, 2006 — Retired Judge Edgar D. Ross officially announced his candidacy for the governor's race Wednesday night, making the Sept. 9 Democratic primary a three-way battle. Ross' running mate for lieutenant governor will be his longtime political ally Sen. Lorraine L. Berry.
The Ross-Berry team, which served together in the 20th Legislature, touted its 50-plus years of combined public service as one of the main reasons why the territory's residents should select them to lead the islands.
"I could not ignore the pleas of my people to stand up on their behalf and use my experience and influence to help them," Ross, who served 10 consecutive years on the bench, stated. "I accepted the calling and laid aside my retirement plans to instead focus on laying a plan to help my fellow Virgin Islanders."
Ross emphasized several planks of his gubernatorial platform during his speech, stating that as governor he would: purchase a controlling interest in Cruzan Rum in order to ensure the company remains in the Virgin Islands; construct a refueling port for Navy vessels and cruise ships; address the debt of the V.I. government; raise the standards and numbers of the V.I. Police Department; and create a long-term solution to the problems in the Department of Education.
Ross stated that his choice of Berry was based on the fact that she was a Democrat, the conscience of the Democratic Party and that she had been an admirable reflection of honesty, integrity and fiscal responsibility.
Berry touted her legislative accomplishments and her lengthy public service.
"Over 38 years ago, when I first embarked on my career in government, I knew that public service was my true calling," Berry said. "From the Office of Delegate to Congress to the Bureau of Audit and Control, the Department of Education and the Industrial Incentive Board, I served the people with honesty and respect," she said.
"Judge Ross and I have both decided to run together in the Democratic primary because we are registered Democrats who have served our community with integrity," she stated. "Our decision to run in the primary is based on concrete political realities and our own political philosophies," she concluded.
Ross, who has served as judge three times, as well as being a former senator and V.I. attorney general, stated that he has delayed both a marriage and his retirement in order to make himself available to serve the people of the Virgin Islands.
"After 10 uninterrupted years on the bench and over 30 years of public service, I had great hopes of marrying my significant other. I dreamed of traveling the world, going across the Alps and sailing the Mediterranean and visiting Africa and China and simply enjoying the rest and relaxation of retired life," he said.
"When I approached Sen. Berry to join me in my efforts to answer the calls of our community, she agreed that we have no choice but to stand together and use the wisdom and experience gained from our public careers to establish the U.S. Virgin Islands as a place of opportunity, growth and serenity," he said.
The Ross-Berry team will battle John deJongh (and running mate Greg Francis) and Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards (and running mate Roy D. Jackson) in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary.
Also running for governor are former Public Finance Authority Director Kenneth Mapp (and running mate former Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd) and Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, who has yet to announce a running mate. Both Mapp and Donastorg are running as independents.
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