In an exclusive to the Post, Margaret Metcalfe officially announced her intention to run again for the seat of delegate to the United States House of Representatives.
"It was a long decision in the making, but we're excited and anxious to get working for Guam," said Metcalfe in a phone interview.
While rumors of a second Metcalfe candidacy have swirled for several weeks, buttressed by reports of the businesswoman and current director of the Washington, D.C. office of the governor having picked up the required candidate packet from the Guam Election Commission (GEC), there had been no announcement until now.
“We cannot continue to choose failed career politicians over and over again and expect change,” Metcalfe said in a press release, employing a style of anti-establishment rhetoric increasingly seen in national politics. “It is time to put the people of Guam first. We have all waited way too long for these self-serving political elite to do what they have promised to do.”
The election commission does not begin accepting nomination packets until April 19, meaning Metcalfe’s announcement signals her intention to run. First, her application must be accepted by the commission, which verifies that requirements are fully met.
Metcalfe, who is a regularly featured columnist in this newspaper's Forum section, touched upon what she described as key issues in her platform in an email to the Post.
"Fourteen years later, and we are still waiting for reparations for our dwindling survivors, significant relief from the all-crippling impact of the Compact of Free Association, and healthier island options and resources for the health needs of our most deserving veterans, seniors and families."
Metcalfe, of Maite, ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2014 to unseat Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, a Democrat.
A growing field
Former Gov. Felix Camacho, a Republican, also confirmed that he is running for the delegate seat in an interview with the Post after picking up his candidate packet from the election commission in early February.
When asked about her reaction to Camacho's decision to run, Metcalfe echoed a previous criticism she's levied against the former governor by relating a story of her first time meeting him at Guam's Republican Convention in March. It was there, according to Metcalfe, that he informed her of his intention to seek the Congressional seat in 2016.
"I told him, 'It's wonderful that our people will have a choice in this election,'" but that it "wasn't helpful" for Camacho to have been disengaged with the local Republican Party for so long, referring to his absence from public office since 2011 and what she perceives as a general absence from local party politics.
Camacho has called similar comments “irrelevant,” citing his many years of public service and as a member of the Republican Party.
Bordallo, a former lieutenant governor, senator and first lady, and the first woman to represent the territory in the House of Representatives, announced her intention to seek reelection on January 25.
The eventual winner will be one of six nonvoting delegates to the House of Representatives. The other non-voting delegates represent Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.