Nov. 5, 2002 Four-term Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg was once again the top vote-getter in the territory in Tuesday with 8,726 votes.
Freshman Sen. Carlton Dowe came in second in St. Thomas-St. John with 7,512.
The next seven finishers in the unofficial standings, and before absentee ballots are tallied, were:
Celestino A. White Sr. (independent) — 6,642.
Roosevelt St. C. David (Democrat) — 6,490.
Louis P. Hill (Democrat) — 6,392.
Lorraine L. Berry (Democrat) — 6,365.
Shawn-Michael Malone (Democrat) — 5,951.
Donald "Ducks" Cole (independent) — 5,932.
Norma Pickard-Samuel (independent) — 5,455.
All are incumbents except for Hill, the current St. Thomas-Water Island administrator, and Malone, an aide to Delegate Donna M. Christensen. Dowe, White, Cole and Pickard-Samuel are members of the majority bloc of the 24th Legislature. David, Hill, Berry and Malone campaigned jointly as members of the Democratic Party's Team 2002.
Depending on which seven candidates end up on top, once the absentee ballots are counted, and with a similar situation in the St. Croix district, there is a very real possibility that the 25th Legislature could see the Democrats assume command and the current majority be relegated to a weak minority. However, in the last four years, the Democrats have not necessarily been aligned with the administration, even Gov. Charles W. Turnbull is a Democrat.
Speaking on WVWI Radio Tuesday evening, Donastorg said of landslide re-election, "This victory demonstrates once again that to be honest, loyal, consistent, and speak the truth can only help — especially the young people."
His agenda for next term won't wait for January, Donastorg said. "Not in the next Legislature, but starting tomorrow we have to start," he said. "Education will be a pressing problem, policing programs play a vital role, and we have to address health care."
Donastorg was the only senator in the 24th Legislature to remain unaligned with the majority or minority, although he typically sided with the minority. Now, he said, he would be pleased if his colleagues were to make him Finance Committee chair, so "I can raise money for these problems we have here."
He said he looks forward in the next few days to following the process "that my colleagues will have reorganizing the Legislature."
Dowe sounded almost breathless with excitement when contacted Tuesday evening. "I worked really hard," the freshman senator said, in explanation of his strong showing in Tuesday's voting. "I worked on some major issues, the step increases, capital projects, the slab program for homebuilding. Those things change people's lives."
He added, "I ran the Rules Committee, and when I had to call on the governor, I did so."
Dowe, in fact, called on the governor on a regular basis, often addressing his remarks on the floor directly to Turnbull with the admonition, "I know you are watching this." He spearheaded the move to air-condition the gymnasium at the new Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School and was instrumental in other school improvements.
Still, he said it was "interesting" that "I placed first in the school polls, and I came out No. 1 in the teachers' polling."
Dowe has been a prominent member of the majority bloc in the current Legislature. With that majority apparently on the way out, he hedged a bit on how the 25th Legislature is looking to him. "I don't know; it's interesting," he said. "There's still a few more days for the absentee ballots to come in, but I'm prepared to work with everyone."
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.