Mary Okada & Joe San Agustin do not deny interest in higher office

Kandit asked Mary Okada and Joe San Agustin to react to Joshua Tenorio’s revelation that he is considering them to be his running mate, and neither of them denied their interest in the job for Guam’s next lieutenant governor.

Mr. Tenorio last Friday, in an exclusive one-hour interview with Kandit News about his 2026 gubernatorial run, named Okada, San Agustin, Tina Muna Barnes, and Amanda Shelton as people whom his advisors have recommended to him to consider as his running mate for the democratic party nomination for governor. The current lieutenant governor also said he has been considering Dennis Rodriguez, Jr.

Mary Okada

“For over 20 years, my work has been in public service,” Ms. Okada said in reaction to Mr. Tenorio’s consideration of her candidacy. “This work is important in helping to build the capacity of our island. In order for me to continue to do this, I have explored opportunities to advance these efforts. It is my goal to continue to engage in this work in public service and contribute where I can be most effective.”

Ms. Okada has been the president of Guam Community College for the past three gubernatorial administrations. It is the only government of Guam agency that has consistently been in the black throughout that entire time despite often receiving appropriations below requested levels.

Under her tenure, GCC has expanded significantly in its physical plant, student enrollment, and academic programs. She also is an elected member of the Guam Education Board, and serves as its chairwoman.

“I appreciate the lieutenant governor’s consideration and for acknowledging me as a potential candidate to be his running mate,” Mr. San Agustin said. “However, at this time, I must prioritize my commitment to seeking reelection as a Senator in the upcoming election. There is still important work to be done in the legislature, and I remain committed to serving our people.”

Mr. San Agustin has been the chairman of the legislature’s budget committee. During his leadership of the annual budget authorization, audited financials of the government have consistently shown conservative revenue forecasts from his office that were partially responsible for annual surpluses.

Among Mr. Tenorio’s priorities are – according to him – to continue the strong fiscal posture of the Leon Guerrero administration under which he serves. Under Lou Leon Guerrero, a moderate deficit she inherited from the Calvo administration was eliminated and the government of Guam continuously has been operating on annual surplus budgeting. Much of that credit, however, belongs to the billions in federal pandemic, grants, and military funding the island received between Fiscal Years 2020 and 2023.

Much of that funding was authorized by Congress during the tenure of Michael San Nicolas, whom Mr. Tenorio also spoke about in detail during the interview. Kandit will bring you the full interview later this week.

Kandit reached out to Ms. Shelton and Ms. Muna Barnes for their reaction to their consideration to be Mr. Tenorio’s running mate. Ms. Shelton did not respond at all. Ms. Muna Barnes’ office apologized, informing Kandit the legislative vice speaker is attending an off island conference on the other side of the world, making it difficult to coordinate a response.

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