Rodriguez being considered by Tenorio as running mate

Joshua Tenorio’s political advisors have been suggesting several popular people to be his running mate for the 2026 gubernatorial election. And while he maintains it is too early to choose one, he has been personally considering Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., among others.

Mr. Rodriguez is the co-founder of the nonprofit Todu Guam Foundation, which provides access to medical care and other services to the poor and the underserved. He also is a former senator.

He is from Dededo. His wife, Lena Calvo Rodriguez, is from Yigo. Mr. Tenorio is from Sinajana, but lives in Talofofo. His partner, Matthew Topasna, is from Santa Rita. Carrying those villages by wide margins alone can mean victory in the general election.

If they run together and are elected, Adelup will make its first generational shift since Carl Gutierrez and Madeleine Bordallo occupied it. A Tenorio-Rodriguez ticket would usher in a Generation X leadership era, something untested in Guam.

More importantly for Tenorio, Rodriguez is someone he trusts and with whom he shares a common passion.

“We’ve always been friends. I’ve always respected what he brings to the table,” Mr. Tenorio said, “which is a real commitment and passion to attacking poverty, to bring access for health care for populations that don’t have that access. He has a focus that, irrespective of politics, you know that that’s authentic.”

“I am deeply honored and genuinely will consider the opportunity,” Mr. Rodriguez said, reacting to Mr. Tenorio’s comments about him. “I support him and believe he will be a great governor. His unwavering commitment to uplifting individuals from poverty aligns perfectly with the needs of our community and resonates with Lena and me on a personal level. Engaging in further discussions with him is imperative, but I must prioritize consulting with my family and engaging in deep prayers. Undoubtedly, he recognizes the significance of a decision like this, which requires ample time and careful contemplation. Josh is not just a political ally; he is my trusted friend, and our shared dedication to addressing the needs of the impoverished and marginalized is unwavering. Collaborating with him at Adelup holds immense potential for making a tangible difference in their lives. We’ll see where this takes us.”

Mr. Rodriguez ran for governor in 2018, but lost in the primary election to Lou Leon Guerrero. Among his platform priorities were the quitclaim of Chamorro Land Trust properties so that Guamanians could have immediate access to housing opportunity, universal health coverage, and a focus on Chamorro language revival through immersion in public schools. Had he been elected in 2018, Mr. Rodriguez’s central focus would have been the lifting of Guamanians out of poverty.

That priority aligns with Mr. Tenorio’s 2026 gubernatorial run.

“In choosing a running mate, I want to be sure I can trust them, in being team mates,” Mr. Tenorio said. “There’s so much to do on this island that you need a self starter. Somebody that our values are aligned. Somebody that is willing to withstand scrutiny that’s also willing to rise above the detractors and have the fortitude to navigate some of the nastiness that comes with this.”

Following the 2018 election, Mr. Rodriguez turned his full time attention to the Todu Guam Foundation, which he and his wife founded a few years earlier. Since then, the foundation has provided immunizations, cancer screening, behavioral and mental health care, and other medical and health services to thousands of underprivileged Guamanians. Following Typhoon Mawar, it was the Todu Guam Foundation that assisted the Red Cross in providing for some of the poorest people in Yigo. The former senator served briefly in the Leon Guerrero administration as her health advisor.

In the second installment of this story:

The lieutenant governor said Joe S. San Agustin, a senator and ally of his, has told him he is interested in running for higher office.

Mr. Tenorio also said Lou Leon Guerrero, Carl Gutierrez, and others have been suggesting names. And among these names are Mary Okada, Amanda Shelton, and Tina Muna Barnes.

Kandit has reached out to all these potential nominees for their comments. We will be publishing a second story based on this.

The four-minute segment of the interview you see here is part of a one-hour interview Kandit had with Mr. Tenorio Friday, December 8, 2023. We will stream the full interview toward the end of the week.


  • I’ve heard this lifting of poverty since I started voting and I’m on my third quarter in life. This seems to be the no.1 pitch in politics……will it ever happen?

  • Joshua is full of crap. Ask him what he and his sister did to their older brother from another mother when the older brother went to attend the rosary for his father. Then when Josh became the running mate of LLG, he turned and try to embrace the older brother! He is not sincere about his lifting people out of poverty! He wants the POWER OF A GOVERNOR!

  • Josh is full of crap. Ask him what he and his sister did to their older brother from another mother when the older brother went to attend the rosary for their father! Josh and his sister chased the oldest brother out of the rosary! Believe me! Then when he became the running mate of LLG, he tried to embrace the brother he showed no respect to! He only wants to be the next governor! Josh wants the POWER OF THE GOVERNOR!

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