Home News Local news AFT Straw Poll Bodes Change

AFT Straw Poll Bodes Change


Oct. 29, 2004 – If the straw poll recently conducted by the district of St. Croix American Federation of Teachers represents the pulse of the people, then voters are poised to make major changes in the Legislature on St. Croix when they go to the polls Tuesday.
In the race for senate, AFT members selected four newcomers, put a new face in the at-large seat but stayed with the status quo in Congress.
The teachers seem to gravitate toward their own, as they overwhelmingly selected educators, former educators and education personnel for the top three senatorial spots.
Neville James, on leave from his position as Education Department property and procurement coordinator, captured the top spot, followed by Terrence Nelson, a teacher at the St. Croix Educational Complex.
Michael Thurland, a former St. Croix teacher, rounded out the top three seats. Also selected by AFT members were Sens. Ronald Russell, Usie Richards, Norman Jn Baptiste and newcomer Pedro Encarnacion.
In the Democratic primary, held Sept. 11, James came in first, Encarnacion third and Thurland fourth.
Newcomer Juan Figueroa Serville captured the No. 2 spot in the primary but did not appear as one of the AFT's top seven choices. (See "Christensen Landslide, Senate President Ousted").
In the at-large race, however, AFT members broke ranks and ousted former teacher Almando "Rocky" Liburd in favor of newcomer Craig Barshinger.
Donna M. Christensen still holds the approval of educators, who rejected her opponents, Krim Ballentine and Warren Mosler, in favor of Christensen, who has served as V.I. Delegate to Congress since 1997.
Below are the results of the AFT straw poll:

Senatorial race:
Neville James (D) — 242
Terrance Nelson (ICM) — 201
Michael Thurand (D) — 191
Ronald Russell (D) (tie) — 179
Usie Richards (ICM) (tie) — 179
Norman Jn Baptiste (Independent) — 163
Pedro Encarnacion (D) — 155
Delegate to Congress
Donna Christensen (D) — 320
Craig Barshinger (D) — 211

Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.
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