Tenorio: There might be a future where Mike San Nicolas and I can work together

Joshua Tenorio said in an interview with Kandit that he wants a reconciliation with his longtime friend and Democratic Party colleague Michael San Nicolas, and left the door open to a ‘future where (they) can work together.’

Mr. Tenorio did not elaborate beyond that, though in a separate part of a one-hour sit down with Kandit on December 8, 2023, he discussed how among his considerations for a running mate were people who are not known to be politically aligned with him. He also did what his current boss, Lou Leon Guerrero, has refused to do throughout her tenure as governor. He gave Mr. San Nicolas, the former congressman, credit for resolving several “legacy” issues while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Michael San Nicolas

“When we look back at competitors, or opponents, you have to really try and know there might be a future where you can work together,” Mr. Tenorio said. “For example, Mike San Nicolas was a good friend of mine and then we became competitors. But I know he still has more to offer Guam. Why would you not set your differences aside so you can move forward?”

Mr. Tenorio and Mr. San Nicolas are contemporaries in the Democratic Party of Guam. Prior to San Nicolas’ tenure in the Guam Legislature, Tenorio served as party chairman while San Nicolas was becoming more active as he approached his first campaign. By the time San Nicolas was in office, Tenorio had become one of the top figures at the Judiciary of Guam but remained a prominent leader in the party.

In 2018 Mr. San Nicolas and Mr. Tenorio successfully ran for higher office, though some of Mr. Tenorio and then-Governor-elect Lou Leon Guerrero’s followers remained bitter at Mr. San Nicolas for defeating Democratic Party fixture Madeleine Bordallo in the primary election that year.

Those tensions became public in Mr. San Nicolas’ first year as congressman, which coincided with the Leon Guerrero Tenorio administration’s first year at Adelup.

Mr. San Nicolas’ first big win – the payment of war claims and the closing out of a seven-decade legacy issue – became a tug of war for credit between him and Ms. Leon Guerrero, with the governor refusing to thank San Nicolas for his effort. Then came the unprecedented amounts of pandemic funding Guam received through San Nicolas’ efforts, which he accompanied with demands for the administration to use the monies wisely.

Ms. Leon Guerrero shot back at the former congressman and continued to refuse to credit him for the funding. In the midst of the pandemic, Mr. San Nicolas would go on to close out other so-called legacy issues, including reimbursement for the earned income credit, and Medicaid funding, among several other issues.

By that time, rumors began to swirl that he would be running for governor and Adelup refused to share any credit with him for the funds as it was disbursing them locally.

Eventually the rivalry came to a head in the primary election between Mr. San Nicolas and Ms. Leon Guerrero. She prevailed, and he refused to endorse her against her general election opponent, Felix Camacho.

Mr. San Nicolas has since posted on his Facebook page his lamentation about the personal attacks he and his family received from Ms. Leon Guerrero. He hardly, however, has mentioned Mr. Tenorio and has rarely taken any swings at him.

In his December 8 interview with Kandit, Mr. Tenorio raised those legacy issues in terms of strengths he perceives the administration has that his campaign can capitalize upon. Asked whether – in hindsight – he would give or share that credit with Mr. San Nicolas, he said, “Sure. Sure. Undoubtedly. He was in Congress.”

“What I regret about that, was there wasn’t more cohesion in pursuing the results,” Mr. Tenorio said about the relationship Adelup had with Mr. San Nicolas. “There could have been more cohesion. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the case back then. But, who knows in the future, right? For me, I’m always willing to work with everybody.”

Kandit is scheduled to speak with Mr. San Nicolas this weekend for his reaction to Mr. Tenorio’s statements.


  • why bring someone back who refuses to acknowledge losing
    in the primary. he cannot handle pressure

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