Nov. 1, 2002 – The Harbour Night Committee, headed by Harbour Night coordinator Hugh Dalton, made its choices for the upcoming election public on Friday –– with John de Jongh taking a narrow lead in the gubernatorial race.
Dalton said a 10-person committee surveyed each candidate in each political race and rated from 1 to 10 those who would "not only serve the territory but also serve the needs of St. Croix and Frederiksted.
"Our focus was who could do it the fastest and be the most effective in the short run," Dalton said. He said the Michael Bornn and Morty Golden team ran a close second to de Jongh and his running mate, Paul Arnold.
"Public confidence was high for both," he said. "Oddly enough, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, (Sen.) Alicia Hansen and (Lt. Gov.) Gerard Luz James II were in a virtual tie for third place behind the leaders."
He said each candidate was evaluated based on 10 criteria — leadership, education and experience, public involvement, private-sector involvement, community service, public confidence, constituency support, the ability to work with the Legislature, the committee's confidence in the running mate, and its confidence in the candidates' ability to address St. Croix's needs.
"Our objective was not to pick a candidate by popularity but to objectively evaluate them by the same criteria," Dalton said.
The committee selected incumbent Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen to represent the territory in Washington, D.C.
Of the senatorial candidates on St. Croix, the committee selected Robert Acosta, Oneida Granger, incumbent Emmett Hansen II, write-in candidate Wayne James, incumbent David Jones, Luther Renee and Usie Richards.
They chose Craig Barshinger for at-large senator.
Richards, according to Dalton, was seen as having the clear lead in leadership ability and experience among the newcomers.
"Usie Richards, if elected, has a unique opportunity to become the leader of St. Croix," Dalton said. "It will be up to him how he handles his edge in leadership."
The intent of the survey, Dalton said, was to choose candidates based on their ability to deliver and work together toward a common goal, even though they may represent different constituencies.
"In most cases, the tiebreaker was what special-interest group they served. We wanted as many sectors of our population represented" as possible, he said. "It's not rocket science, but we did look at it objectively and differently."
See related story, "Harbour Night entity to endorse candidates".

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here