With a crowd of family and supporters standing by their side, former Gov. Felix P. Camacho and his running mate Sen. Tony Ada, on Thursday, filed their gubernatorial candidacy that they said is offering voters a "choice of hope" and "prosperity."

"We're just very happy to offer ourselves so now we're off to the races. It begins, and we're so excited to be here," Camacho said at the Guam Election Commission office in Tamuning.

The bigger question for Guam, they said, is what's going to happen once the close to $2 billion in federal pandemic relief and recovery runs out. 

"We need to start relying on our own people to build our own island up, and we need to continue with building infrastructure, doing jobs, and things like that. And those were not spoken about last night," Ada said referring to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's Wednesday evening State of the Island Address.

Leon Guerrero's address described Guam as "getting stronger every day." Camacho, noting the rising cost of living offered a different view, saying "these are dark times."

However, Camacho is optimistic of a "red wave" or a Republican leadership that will come out of upcoming elections in Guam and across the nation.

"People have seen this liberal progressive type of leadership and what it’s led to - total destruction of the economy nationally and locally because the leadership here followed the script of what's happened in the blue states, and look what's happened. Lives, careers, businesses, everything, the economy has been destroyed," Camacho said. "We need to get back to conservative values, conservative leadership and hard work, and determination and focus on the people and the economy and build back up."

Unopposed

The Camacho-Ada team is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

But they still need to meet a certain threshold to be able to move forward to the November general election.

Whoever is victorious in the Democratic primaries between the tickets of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero-Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio and Delegate Michael San Nicolas-Sabrina Salas Matanane will face off with the Republican Camacho-Ada team in the November general elections.

"The journey starts now," former Gov. Eddie Calvo told Camacho at the candidacy filing.

A motorcade sent Camacho and Ada to the GEC office Thursday morning, and then to a lunch gathering at their headquarters after the candidacy filing.

Their supporters waved banners and chanted "Biba Camacho-Ada" as the actual candidacy filing was taking place.

The festive mood was a direct contrast to the low-key candidacy filing by San Nicolas on Tuesday. Salas Matanane was attending to a family matter so it was only San Nicolas who filed their papers with GEC, shortly before the close of business. The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio team has yet to file their candidacy papers.

'Island needs a CPR'

"We bring experience. I've been there in the most difficult of times. We’re proven, we're seasoned, and we’ve been tried. We just know that the island needs CPR right now," Camacho said.

CPR stands for "Christ, Prayers and Republican" governor and leadership, Ada said.

At the filing, former first lady Joann Camacho and Annette Ada were by their husbands' side.

"This is the right time, this is the right season. This is the right opportunity for us to come in and bring in new types of leadership," former governor Camacho said." I think what we’ve experienced over the last two and a half years has really been just – it's not reality. I mean we have received close to $2 billion of federal dollars, it's been sloshing around this economy. And everything in the economy is shut down."

He served as governor for two consecutive four-year terms from 2003 to 2011, and is seeking a third term. His administration battled with the devastation of typhoons and the conflict in Iraq.

"There's not just one silver bullet," Camacho said of his team's plans to rebuild Guam's economy after a COVID-19 pandemic-induced devastation.

Details of those plans will be in their platform that they plan to release July 7, their team said.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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