Nov. 2, 2004 St. Croix voters ousted two more sitting senators in Tuesdays General Election. Sens. Douglas Canton Jr. and Emmett Hansen II joined their lame-duck colleagues Sens. David S. Jones and Luther F. Renee, who were voted out in the primary elections of Sept. 11.
In their place, voters selected newcomers Neville James, Pedro Encarnacion, Terrence "Positive" Nelson and Juan Figueroa Serville. The novice senators-elect placed first, second, third and fourth, respectively.
Three incumbent senators Usie Richards, Norman Jn Baptiste and Ronald Russell rounded out the field, coming in fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Former senator Adelbert M. Bryan placed eighth, with 21 votes separating him from the seventh-place finisher, Sen. Ronald Russell. The results of the election are still unofficial as absentee votes are yet to be counted.
(For the complete unofficial results, see "St. Croix Makes Sweeping Senate Changes").
Senator-elect James is not letting his first place finish in the primary and general elections deter him from concentrating on the ills that face his constituents. "This [job] is a profession, not an obsession. A lot of people are counting on us to get the job done," he said. James said he is not interested in rushing to form a majority. "We need to keep St. Croix in the forefront, not rush to St. Thomas to form a majority." James said a majority needs to be organized on ideology, not on allotments. "If I am in the majority, so be it. If I am in the minority, so be it," James said.
Senator-elect Encarnacion was elated at the results. He said he is ready to be a part of a united force to work for St. Croix. "This is not a one-man show. We need a united platform." Encarnacion said he sees five issues of concern for St. Croix safety, the economy, education, health and the infrastructure.
It was a party atmosphere at the headquarters of Senator-elect Serville. Hundreds of supporters cheered, cried and celebrated a hard-won victory. Serville, at 30 years old, may be the youngest person ever elected to the Virgin Islands Legislature. "Don't let anyone tell you that your dream cannot come true," he told the crowd. "I speak for the future and the future is now."
He said his win was not a surprise. "I felt confident that the people believed in me." He thanked the voters for giving "youth a chance at leadership." He added that he would "make them proud" and "help lift the youth of the islands."
One of the first things on his agenda, however, was sleep. He said he had not slept for 36 hours. When he gets to work, he said, it will be "to work with the team of St. Croix senators for all the people."
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