Who should be the next speaker of the Guam Legislature?

Speaker Therese Terlaje is, once again, the most popularly-elected member of the legislature, and led a legislature split between allegiance to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and senators who preferred to question the administration more fervently. Ms. Terlaje often questioned the governor’s actions and inaction, placing her out of favor with the democrat administration.

According to some members of the next legislature, Sen.-elect William Parkinson has said the governor assigned him to whip votes for the election of Sen. Joe San Agustin as the speaker. Mr. San Agustin often has allied with the governor, especially on financial issues. He currently is the chairman of the legislative Committee on Ways and Means. Sources report Mr. San Agustin is vying for both the speakership and the helm of the ways and means committee. Among the windfalls Mr. San Agustin will be able to control if he retains the committee are the full use of Section 30 funds, increasing earned income credit reimbursements, and the possible falling off of the Guam Department of Education’s third party fiduciary agent expense. Senators reportedly are apprehensive about awarding their colleague both posts.

The so-called dark horse candidate reportedly is Sen. Amanda Shelton. The race for speaker between Ms. Terlaje and Mr. San Agustin, sources say, has yet to result in a mandate for either of the two, and Ms. Shelton has expressed interest in being the compromise choice.

The democrats have yet to announce the results of their caucus. Meanwhile, the republicans will announce their leadership in a news conference today at the Office of Sen. Frank Blas, Jr.

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