Candidates duked it out Friday for top spots on the 2014 election ballot. The meeting, called the “casting of lots,” started promptly at 5:30 p.m. on St. Croix and St. Thomas with an objective to decide the order that candidates’ names will appear on the Aug. 2 primary ballot.
Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes presided over the meeting in St. Thomas, and another Elections official was present to assist in the casting of lots for candidates that did not attend. Less than five candidates attended the lots casting meeting on St. Thomas.
The casting of lots began with a conference call to the St. Croix office to determine territorial lots, with the two district offices taking alternating turns drawing numbers for candidates throughout this part of the meeting.
Delegates to the U.S. House of Representatives were the first to draw their numbers. Candidate Stacey Plaskett attended the meeting to cast her lot and took the first spot. Shawn-Michael Malone took the second spot, placing Emmett Hansen in the third slot by default.
Next were the governor and lieutenant governor candidates, with six teams running in total, all Democrats. Donna Christensen and Basil Ottley took the first position on the ballot followed in order by Gerald Luz James and Winston Brathwaite, Marvin Pickering and Calford Martin, Gregory Francis and Patrick Sprauve, and Adlah F. Donastorg Jr. and Angel Torres. Moleto Smith Jr. and Hubert Frederick took the sixth spot. Despite being last, Smith was pleased with his position.
“Six is easy to find,” said Smith.
After the casting for Legislature at large, state chair position, and territorial committee, Fawkes ended the conference call and began the casting of lots for the St. Thomas/St. John district.
Ten candidates for Senate battled for their positions on the ballot. In the end, Jean Forde took the coveted number one position, followed by Julia R. Joseph Simon in the second spot.
The next seven candidates in order of their place on the ballot were Marvin A. Blyden, Clarence D. Payne, Myron D. Jackson, Donald G. Cole, Janette Millin Young, Clifford Graham and Sean A. Georges. Justin Harrigan Sr. finished off the list in the 10th spot. Many of the absent candidates had their representatives draw on their behalf.
After the senators’ lots were cast and Fawkes ended the meeting, Smith had a lot to say about this year’s election. “There hasn’t been so many Democrats running for the seat of governor and lieutenant governor in a long time,” he said. “This is going to be an important election.”
Smith urged the public to pay attention and to demand robust debates. “The public needs to make an informed decision based on the scrutiny of all candidates,” he said.