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HomeNewsArchivesNelson, Malone Big Winners in Senate Race

Nelson, Malone Big Winners in Senate Race

Nov. 4, 2008 — In a Senate race that in many instances came down to the wire, Democratic incumbent Shawn-Michael Malone picked up the highest numbers Tuesday in the St. Thomas-St. John district, coming in with 7,545 votes, followed by former Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg with 7,190 votes.
Incumbent Sen. Terrence "Positive" Nelson was St. Croix's biggest winner Tuesday with 7,225 votes, beating the second-highest vote getter, Senate newcomer Michael Thurland, by more than a thousand votes.
But the real upset in this year's general election came in the race for St. John's senator-at-large, as former Sen. Craig W. Barshinger beat out senatorial incumbent Carmen M. Wesselhoft by 1,804 votes. Barshinger maintained a steady lead throughout the evening — at one point showing a 3,000-vote lead over Wesselhoft — and pulled in at the end with 12,027 votes.
"I feel elated and proud and also humble," Barshinger said Tuesday upon finding he had won the at-large seat. "I guess the people looked back at what I did in the 26th Legislature and missed it. It's great to be back. … My biggest issue going forward will be to do what the Legislature can to bring down WAPA rates. There are people suffering here right now who are living in their homes without electricity. My goal is to bring rates down …."
Contacted Tuesday evening, Malone also shared his plans for the next two years.
"I feel good, very good," he said after the unofficial results were announced Tuesday evening. "I have a lot of unfinished work to do, so I'm excited about being able to continue leading, and excited about the opportunities we have before us to really create some stability in the Virgin Islands before it gets too late. We have to start to think globally, especially in terms of the major economic issues that may soon start to affect us … and I'm looking forward to working with the administration to develop some solid long-range policies so that people can begin to look forward to something and really be able to plan their futures in the Virgin Islands."
After the results came down on St. Croix, Nelson pulled up in his campaign truck, sirens blaring, yelling "thank you St. Croix," through the loudspeakers, and came to a stop in front of the St. Croix Elections Office as media and fans thronged his window. He got out of the car and jumped up and down with his elated fans.
Asked later about rumors that he might be planning a run for governor in 2010, Nelson said they are just rumors.
"But we have revenues of $1.3 billion," he said. "People are paying taxes, yet the basic services are lacking. Our roads have ruts, our schools are in disrepair. The bottom line is this: People need the services. If running for governor is what it takes, so be it. … The people are truly looking for some type of relief. It's not about politics, whether I'm in the majority or minority of the Senate, I will vote for what I think is in the best interests of the Virgin Islands."
Incumbent Sens. Louis P. Hill and Alvin L. Williams slid into the third and fourth slots in the St. Thomas-St. John race, picking up 6,413 and 6,071 votes, respectively.
"This is a very good victory," Hill said Tuesday. "I am excited as well at being able to continue to serve the people of the Virgin Islands, and am grateful and thankful that they have placed their trust in me once again."
The victory puts Williams into his second term in the Legislature.
"I'm just very exuberant right now about the opportunity that the people of the Virgin Islands have given me once again," Williams said Tuesday. "Going into this second term, one of the first initiatives I'm going to pursue is bringing back legislation to bring a state-of-the-art technical school into the territory. With the economy being what it is today, we should give our residents as many opportunities as possible."
Newcomers Michael Thurland and Samuel Sanes picked up the second- and third-highest numbers on St. Croix, pulling 6,133 and 5,123 votes, respectively. Newcomer Nelly Rivera O'Reilly slid into the third-place slot with 4,916 votes.
Patrick Simeon Sprauve — recently tapped by local Democratic Party members to serve out the term of former Sen. Basil Ottley Jr. — maintained a steady lead throughout the evening, holding onto the fifth-place spot in the St. Thomas-St. John race with 4,930 votes. Incumbent Sen. Celestino A. White Sr. fell into sixth place with 4,814 votes.
From the moment the first set of cartridges started pouring into Elections offices on St. Thomas around 7:40 p.m., the battle for the last district's Senate slot was on, with Sen. Carlton "Ital" Dowe and Louis "Lolo" Willis fighting for the position. The pair switched off several times during the evening, but in the end Dowe clinched the win with 4,719 votes. Willis fell just short, coming in with 4,665 votes.
St. Thomas-St. John senatorial incumbent Liston Davis was knocked out of the running Tuesday after pulling in 4,383 votes.
On St. Croix, Senatorial incumbents Usie R. Richards, Neville James and newcomer Wayne James rounded out the district's list of seven. Richards picked up 4,776 votes, while James picked up 4,610. Wayne James followed with 4,595 votes, pushing out senatorial incumbent Ronald E. Russell, who pulled in 4,521 votes Tuesday.
The results also knock St. Croix senatorial incumbents James Weber III and Norman Jn Baptiste out of the running for spots in the 28th Legislature. But Weber trails Russell by a mere 16 votes, while Jn Baptiste trails Weber by only nine. With mail-in and walk-in ballots yet to be counted, there is yet a possibility of an 11th-hour upset.
Weber picked up 4,505 votes Tuesday, while Jn Baptiste pulled in 4,096 votes
All numbers are unofficial until the more than 700 walk-in, provisional and absentee ballots are counted. That process should begin Thursday, according to Elections officials.
Delegate Donna M. Christensen ran uncontested this year after beating out Victor Frazer in this year's primary election. Christensen picked up 18,237 votes Tuesday evening.
"I'm grateful to the people of the territory for the victory in September which enabled me to win at the polls in the general election," she said Tuesday, speaking from St. Croix. "So my first, middle and last thanks go out to the people of the Virgin Islands. And I'm really excited about passing on the support of my constituents to an historic Congress at this historic moment as we prepare to elect the first African-American president of the United States."
Other winners in this year's general election:
Board of Education, At-Large Seat
Oswin A. Sewer Sr.: 7,601 votes
Board of Education, St. Croix
Janis A. Esannason: 3,987 votes
Cheryl Francis: 3,976 votes
Terrence Thomas Joseph: 3,788 votes
Winona "Pat" Hendricks: 3,504 votes
Board of Education, St. Thomas-St. John
Judy M. Gomez: 5,493 votes
Debra Smith-Watlington: 4,110 votes
Keith Richards: 3,813 votes
Arah C. Lockhart: 3,298 votes
Board of Elections, St. Croix
Dodson K. James: 4,053 votes
Carmen M. Golden: 3,491 votes
Ana L. "Anita" Davila: 3,402 votes
Lisa Harris-Moorhead: 2,960 votes
Board of Elections, St. Thomas
Lawrence "Larry" Boschulte: 3,685 votes
Lorna A.C. Thomas: 3,283 votes
Colette White-Amaro: 2,689 votes
Board of Elections, St. John
Alecia Wells: 4,174 votes
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