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Republican Frank Blas, Jr. to challenge Bordallo

By Brett Kelman HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 5, 2012) - Sen. Frank Blas Jr. confirmed yesterday that he will run for Guam delegate in November, making him the first Republican to run for Guam's lone congressional seat in years.

Blas Jr., who is the minority leader of the Guam Legislature, said he planned an official announcement for February but confirmed his campaign intentions when he was interviewed yesterday.

Blas Jr. will campaign against Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, who is serving her fifth term after running unopposed in 2010. Blas Jr. may also have to campaign against former Democratic Gov. Carl Gutierrez, who has said he is seriously considering a bid for delegate.

Gutierrez was narrowly defeated in the gubernatorial election last year, but he returned to political prominence in December when he was elected Democratic Party chairman.

Since Gutierrez and Bordallo are both Democrats -- and a former gubernatorial team -- only one of them will survive the Primary Election to face the Republican challenger in November. Both are powerhouses in Guam politics.

"Obviously, they have strong bases and I respect that," Blas Jr. said yesterday. "But I also realize that there are a number of people who are frustrated and those who are undecided."

If elected delegate, Blas Jr. said he would focus on issues including war reparations and additional federal funding to help Guam host regional immigrants. Both issues have been priorities of his in the Legislature.

As a senator, Blas Jr. has championed war survivors through several projects and pushed the federal government to increase compact-impact reimbursement, which he believes is seriously lacking.

Blas Jr. is a former policeman and son of former Lt. Gov. Frank Blas.

His senatorial bid succeeded in the 2006 and he has won re-elections since then, according to Pacific Daily News files.

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