Rocky will try for a comeback, but there are some fresh political faces and a few familiar ones who have thrown their hats into the ring as candidates for St. John Senator at Large in the 2014 election.
Three candidates for Senator at Large have filed to run for the office as Democrats: former St. John Administrator James Dalmida Jr., perennial candidate Ronnie Jones and political newcomer B. Gregory Miller.
The three Democrats will face off in the Democratic primary election and the successful candidate will face a formidable opponent in former Senator at Large Almando “Rocky” Liburd, who has filed to run as an Independent, and a 24-year-old novice candidate,
St. Thomian Jodi Hodge. a politically-savvy, newcomer with a well-known V.I. political name who is the only Republican candidate.
Barshinger Taking Break
Senator at Large Craig Barshinger, who decided not to run for a sixth term to deal with family matters related to the recent death of his father and says he could run for the position again in the future after a two-year layoff, does have a personal favorite in the race in the Republican candidate for his job — Hodge, his protege and girlfriend.
Sen. Barshinger acknowledged his relationship with Hodge, whom he met during his last campaign, simplified his role in the upcoming race when former St. John Administrator Dalmida called for a political consultation six months ago.
Dalmida, a popular St. John Administrator in the Roy Lester Schneider Administration from 1995 to 1999, is a longtime island entrepreneur and hospitality professional who has been working in the states in recent years.
Sen. Barshinger said he had recommended that Dalmida return to the USVI from his Florida hospitality industry work and get involved in Virgin Islands government again before running.
“Once he (Dalmida) came back to the territory, Jody decided to run and asked if I would support her,” Sen. Barshinger explained, questioning whether Dalmida’s return to the territory and entry into the race was “opportunistic” and reiterating his support for Republican candidate Hodge.
“We met during the last campaign; she worked on my campaign and we fell in love,” explained Sen. Barshinger, a longtime bachelor, who acknowledged he would be supporting “the woman I live with and the woman I love.”
Democrat To Face Liburd, Hodge
Ronnie Jones, a native St. Johnian who works for the Department of Human Services, has been an unsuccessful candidate for Senator at Large in the last two campaigns and will be seeking to build on his previous campaign efforts.
B. Greg Miller, an engineer and long-time St. Thomas resident, has worked on major government projects on St. Thomas and St. John for decades. His company, BGM Engineers and Surveyors LLC, has maintained an office on St. John for years and Miller is establishing his residency on St. John.
Miller, a first-time political candidate, has been a prolific contributor to U.S.V.I. media over the years, writing extensively on government affairs in letters and columns for numerous island publications.
Former Senator-at-Large “Rocky” Liburd has been hiding in plain sight after losing the Senator at Large seat in 2004. The St. Johnian opened Fred’s Lounge in Cruz Bay in 2007.
In addition to the three Senator at Large candidates, there will also be a Democratic primary between the party’s six candidates for governor.
Candidate nomination papers are being reviewed by Supervisor of Elections Caroline Fawkes.
Candidates will be notified of any missing documents and will have three days to provide the missing information or be disqualified, according to officials.
St. John Tradewinds will be sitting down with political candidates for interviews before the Democratic primary and regular campaigns to discuss St. John and the candidates’ positions on territorial issues.