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Plaskett defeats Russell in USVI Democratic primary elections

US Virgin Islands (USVI) Delegate to Congress Stacey E. Plaskett (left) easily defeated contender Ronald E. Russell in the USVI primary elections on August 6, 2016. Right: In St Thomas, Senator Marvin A. Blyden bested the incumbents to gain the number one spot. Photo: VI Consortium
The Primary Elections were held in the US Virgin Islands on Saturday August 6, 2016. Photo: VIC
The Primary Elections were held in the US Virgin Islands on Saturday August 6, 2016. Photo: VIC
VI CONSORTIUM

FREDERIKSTED, St Croix, USVI — US Virgin Islands (USVI) Delegate to Congress Stacey E. Plaskett easily defeated contender Ronald E. Russell, former senator and practicing attorney who mounted a campaign against Ms Plaskett hoping to unseat the freshman congresswoman in Saturday’s, August 6, 2016, primary election.

But Mr Russell’s effort was no match to Ms Plaskett’s campaign machine, having defeated universally loved former senator Shawn-Michael Malone in 2014, stunning observers, and having foot soldiers and offices on all three islands; which helped sideline Mr Russell’s limited resources and nimble team.

Plaskett received 3,860 or 85.45% of all votes while Russell received 635 or 14.06%.

“I just want to say I’m humbled and grateful to the people of the Virgin Islands that showed me in a strong manner that they have faith in the work that I’ve done,” Ms Plaskett told The Consortium via telephone following her win. The congresswoman made a point of highlighting what she said were negative ads hurled at her by Mr Russell. “My opponent spent tens of thousands of dollars in attack ads against me; I’ve only ran positive ads highlighting issues of interest to the people of the Virgin Islands. I’m proud of my campaign,” she said.

Saturday’s primary election included little surprises, as incumbents in both districts held on to their seats while a few newcomers barely eked out wins. In St Croix, Senators Kurt Vialet, Novelle E. Francis, Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly, Sammuel Sanes, Neville James and Kenneth L. Gittens all held on to their positions, while newcomer Terrence Joseph came in 7.

Marvin A. Blyden tops in STT

In St Thomas, Senator Marvin A. Blyden bested the incumbents to gain the number one spot. He was closely followed by Senator Myron D. Jackson, serving his second term in the Senate, who came in strong in second place with 1,534 votes or 14.83 percent. He was followed by Senate Vice President Janette Millin Young, who captured 1,422 votes or 13.75 percent, and Justin Harrigan, who garnered a respectable 1,326 votes or 12.82 percent. Jean Forde placed 5th with 1,229 votes or 11.88 percent.

It is often said that St. Thomians don’t change senators as regularly as Crucians, but the departure of Senator Clifford Graham — who is serving his final few months in the 31st Legislature as he’s chosen not to seek reelection — created an opening for newcomer Kevin A. Rodriguez, who secured 1,017 votes or 9.83 percent.

Former senator Patrick Simeon Sprauve came in seventh place with 908 votes or 8.78 percent. And Senator Tregenza Roach, an independent sitting senator, will be on the ballot for the General Election.

Below, find the results from Saturday’s primaries, bar the Democrat Party Offices’ ballots (National Committeewoman, State Chairman & Territorial Committee District-St Croix).

VOTES PERCENT

PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 29) . . . . . 29 100.00

REGISTERED VOTERS – TOTAL . . . . . 29,795

REGISTERED VOTERS – Democrat . . . . 29,795 100.00

BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL. . . . . . . 4,889

BALLOTS CAST – Democrat. . . . . . 4,889 100.00

BALLOTS CAST – NONPARTISAN. . . . . 0

BALLOTS CAST – BLANK. . . . . . . 33 .67

VOTER TURNOUT – TOTAL . . . . . . 16.41

VOTER TURNOUT – Democrat . . . . . 16.41

VOTER TURNOUT – BLANK . . . . . . .11

********** (Democrat) **********

DELEGATE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

(VOTE FOR) 1

Stacey E. Plaskett . . . . . . . 3,860 85.45

Ronald E. Russell. . . . . . . . 635 14.06

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 22 .49

LEGISLATURE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS – AT LARGE

(VOTE FOR) 1

Brian A. Smith. . . . . . . . . 1,205 46.44

Stacie B. January. . . . . . . . 1,078 41.54

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 312 12.02

LEGISLATURE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS – STT/STJ

ST THOMAS / ST JOHN

(VOTE FOR) 7

Marvin A. Blyden . . . . . . . . 1,596 15.43

Myron D. Jackson . . . . . . . . 1,534 14.83

Janette Millin Young. . . . . . . 1,422 13.75

Justin Harrigan, Sr.. . . . . . . 1,326 12.82

Jean A. Forde . . . . . . . . . 1,229 11.88

Kevin A. Rodriguez . . . . . . . 1,017 9.83

Patrick Simeon Sprauve . . . . . . 908 8.78

Julia Joseph-Simon . . . . . . . 627 6.06

Claudette Georges. . . . . . . . 600 5.80

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 84 .81

Disqualified . . . . . . . . . 0

LEGISLATURE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS – ST CROIX DISTRICT

ST CROIX

(VOTE FOR) 7

Kurt Vialet. . . . . . . . . . 1,544 14.28

Novelle E. Francis, Jr.. . . . . . 1,464 13.54

Sammuel Sanes . . . . . . . . . 1,271 11.76

Nellie O’Reilly . . . . . . . . 1,246 11.53

Kenneth L. Gittens . . . . . . . 1,221 11.30

Neville James . . . . . . . . . 1,208 11.17

Terrence D. Joseph . . . . . . . 762 7.05

Ignacio Llanos III . . . . . . . 611 5.65

Troy Mason . . . . . . . . . . 539 4.99

Fred Esannason. . . . . . . . . 418 3.87

George Moore . . . . . . . . . 360 3.33

Agustin Q. Salas . . . . . . . . 133 1.23

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 33 .31

BOARD OF ELECTIONS – STT/STJ ST. THOMAS / ST. JOHN

(VOTE FOR) 2

Arturo Watlington, Jr. . . . . . . 918 37.70

Maurice A. Donovan, Jr.. . . . . . 816 33.51

Patricia Varlack . . . . . . . . 677 27.80

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 24 .99

BOARD OF EDUCATION – STT/STJ ST THOMAS / ST JOHN

(VOTE FOR) 2

Arah C. Lockhart . . . . . . . . 794 24.67

Kyza A. Callwood . . . . . . . . 764 23.74

Dr. Yegin Habtes . . . . . . . . 701 21.78

LaVerne M. Slack . . . . . . . . 654 20.32

Phoebe Smith-Charles. . . . . . . 289 8.98

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 16 .50

Kenneth L. Gittens . . . . . . . 1,221 11.30

Neville James . . . . . . . . . 1,208 11.17

Terrence D. Joseph . . . . . . . 762 7.05

Ignacio Llanos III . . . . . . . 611 5.65

Troy Mason . . . . . . . . . . 539 4.99

Fred Esannason. . . . . . . . . 418 3.87

George Moore . . . . . . . . . 360 3.33

Agustin Q. Salas . . . . . . . . 133 1.23

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 33 .31

BOARD OF ELECTIONS – STT/STJ ST. THOMAS / ST. JOHN

(VOTE FOR) 2

Arturo Watlington, Jr. . . . . . . 918 37.70

Maurice A. Donovan, Jr.. . . . . . 816 33.51

Patricia Varlack . . . . . . . . 677 27.80

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 24 .99

BOARD OF EDUCATION – STT/STJ ST THOMAS / ST JOHN

(VOTE FOR) 2

Arah C. Lockhart . . . . . . . . 794 24.67

Kyza A. Callwood . . . . . . . . 764 23.74

Dr. Yegin Habtes . . . . . . . . 701 21.78

LaVerne M. Slack . . . . . . . . 654 20.32

Phoebe Smith-Charles. . . . . . . 289 8.98

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 16 .50

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