The voices of Democrats were heard loud and clear at the Democratic primary on Saturday, September 9, as gubernatorial candidate John deJongh won 52.28 percent of the overall vote, and incumbent Senator at Large candidate Craig Barshinger won 40.96 percent of the overall vote.
Although Barshinger did win the overall vote, he came second to Elsie Thomas-Trotman on St. John, and he realizes the need to campaign for the general election, he said.
“I feel confident, but we are going to work hard,” said Barshinger. “We sort of slid into the primary, and it was a decisive victory, but not a landslide. It’s obvious that we have to campaign.”
Winning Is “Concrete Affirmation”
Barshinger is grateful for his win, which proves Virgin Islands residents are happy with the job he’s done, he said.
“I feel grateful and enthusiastic, because I have been given the opportunity to move on to the general election,” said Barshinger. “Serving St. John and helping it to become more self-determining is a great challenge, a pleasure and a necessity. Winning the primary is the first concrete affirmation of how I’ve been doing – it’s a testament to what people think of the past two years.”
Barshinger hopes to continue his hands-on approach to his job if he again wins the Senator at Large position at the general election.
Creating St. Johnian Bonds
“My approach has been very hands-on and very active,” said Barshinger. “We have a lot of town meetings where we get a lot of input from people, and I think that is the hallmark of my first two years – that I’ve tried to draw together people from all walks of life, and tried to create bonds between St. Johnians.”
Barshinger has worked hard to make sure Love City continues to live up to its name, he said.
“I know that Love City is still Love City, and it takes some work to keep it that way,” said Barshinger. “I’ve tried to be a part of that.”
Watching the poll count on primary day was like “watching a horse race,” said Barshinger.
“On Saturday, I started in Coral Bay and went to all the polling places on St. John, nearly all the polling places on St. Thomas, and then I went to several polling places on St. Croix,” he said. “When the polls closed, I was still in St. Croix, and I was on the edge of my seat in excitement as the returns came in. We had a lot of fun.”
While watching the election results, Barshinger was happy to see deJongh’s healthy lead, he said.
“I saw that I had a good lead, but it was also exciting to see we got a Democratic candidate for governor who I am confident will not only be a great governor, but also can beat the other two candidates,” said Barshinger. “With the Democratic team behind him, he will beat them hands down.”
DeJongh Called “Unbeatable”
DeJongh worked hard to get where he is today, according to Barshinger.
“I would have supported whatever Democrat won, but this was the one who I felt would be unbeatable,” he said. “He’s unbeatable because he’s good. He has worked his way up — it didn’t come easily — and now here he is, ready to serve.”
DeJongh and his running mate, Gregory Francis, will face independent candidates Adlah Donastorg Jr. and Cora Christian, and Kenneth Mapp and Almando “Rocky” Liburd in November’s general election.
Barshinger will face Independent Citizens Movement candidate Carmen Wesselhoft in the November 7 general election.
Still Time To Register
This year’s general election is scheduled for November 7, and the deadline to register to vote in the general election is October 8.
For more information on registering to vote, call the St. John Election System office at 776-6535, or visit www.vivote.gov. The St. John Election System office is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.