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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, December 9, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesCrucian Primary Voters Focus on Delegate Race

Crucian Primary Voters Focus on Delegate Race

Crucian voters were focused Saturday on the race between Donna Christensen and Stacie Plaskett for delegate to Congress as trhe primary election took place at four polling sites across the island.

All of the candidates for St. Croix’s Senate seats and on the board of elections qualified automatically, so the only other public office on the ballot for the primary was the senator-at-large position, in which all of the candidates are residents of St. John.

At the St. Croix Educational Complex, supporters of Christensen and Plaskett set up tents a respectful distance from one another in the electioneering zone. A woman in a yellow Christensen T-shirt waved a sign and shouted “vote number two, it’s good for you, to voters passing by.

Plaskett’s supporters countered by blaring their candidate’s theme song from a speaker on the back of a pickup truck. The song’s calypso beat and refrain of "The Stacie train is coming!" could be heard echoing through the halls of the school, right up to the door of the polling site.

Rhea Dowling, a Plaskett supporter, said she showed up to support the challenger because, she "didn’t want to sit back and accept what was being offered.”

She said people were eager for a change and the fact that there wasn’t a senatorial race drawing out more voters might work in Plaskett’s favor. She said Christensen’s supporters may stay home thinking their candidate already has the nomination secured.

"But Stacie’s people are coming out and making sure they cast their vote, so that might put the race for Donna in jeopardy," she said.

Verna Peterson said she’s been supporting Christensen for 18 years. She said she was sticking with the incumbent because she felt her experience in Congress would give her an advantage in getting things done in Washington. She added Plaskett would make a better territorial senator than a delegate to Congress.

However, Peterson did agree with the sentiment coming from Plaskett supporters, that the delegate to Congress post, despite not having a vote, was a very important position and needed to be filled with a strong, local activist.

"Who else is going to bring in the money?" she asked.

"The Virgin Islands are like stepchildren, and that’s our parent fighting for us to get what we’re entitled to," added Rochelle Brown, another Christensen supporter.

Despite the national tone of the St. Croix primary, many voters still said their biggest concerns were local.

Lydia Rivera said she was most concerned with the state of education on the island, chiding candidates for paying lip service to the well being of the territory’s children without backing it up. She also said the poor roads and high crime rates motivated her vote.

She categorized herself as an active voter, but said this year she was concerned by how little she had heard from many of the candidates about their views.

"This is the quietest election I’ve ever seen. And being that people really, really want to see change, I think they should have been more aggressive in being heard," she said.

The polls remain open until 7 p.m.

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