Oct. 30, 2001 — It's unofficially official: Dr. Cora Christian will run for governor in the 2002 election.
Christian confirmed Monday that a fund-raising dinner — the first — was held over the weekend to support her bid for the territorys top political job. She noted, however, that she has not officially submitted her candidacy to the V.I. Board of Election.
"It was really a party that was held on my behalf," Christian said. "We have individuals who would like to support me with fund-raising."
Christian will run as an independent and said she had not decided on a running mate. She did note that while she has lived and worked on St. Croix for the majority of her adult life, she was raised on St. Thomas. That likely suggests she will tap that island for her partner.
Local political wisdom holds that a gubernatorial candidate must choose a running mate who will give geographical balance to the ticket. That vote-getting tactic, however, has ended up with the last two governors St. Thomians having less than warm relationships with their Crucian lieutenant governors. Christian, however, said she will strive for a better relationship.
"We want to make it a team approach," she said, "not just use them to get votes. We really want to do this. Its really a Virgin Islands effort.
"We want to do it right and not speak about the past but look to the future," she said.
Christian has practiced medicine on St. Croix since 1971. In addition to being a family physician, she is medical director at the Hovensa refinery. She is also the principal clinical coordinator of the Virgin Islands Medical Institute. Christian is married and has two children.
While incumbent Gov. Charles Turnbull hasnt made an official announcement, he has hinted that he will run for governor again in the November 2002 election. So has his running mate, Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II.
Other potential candidates include Dr. Olaf Hendricks of St. Croix and John de Jongh of St. Thomas. Former Sen. Lloyd Williams of St. Thomas has also told friends that he will run for governor next year, and there is speculation in political circles that Sens. Celestino White and Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg of St. Thomas and Alicia "Chucky" Hansen of St. Croix may be considering a run for the governorship.