Democrat Apparent Winner in Virgin Islands Special Election
CHRISTIANSTED, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) _ Democrat John Tutein was the apparent winner of Tuesday’s special election in St. Croix called to fill the seat of ousted Republican Sen. Kenneth Mapp, an election official said.
The Virgin Islands Senate voted 9-6 in May to oust former minority leader Mapp for voting both here and in Atlanta last year.
Deputy Election Supervisor Lula Parris said Tuesday night that with 21 of 23 polling stations having reported, 4,153 of the 16,595 registered voters, or 25 percent, had cast their ballots and 1,826 voted for Tutein.
Independent Arnold Golden came in second with 1,113, she said. Three other candidates trailed far behind.
A victory by Tutein would increase the Democratic majority to 10-5. He would inherit the $55,000 a year salary and 16 months remaining in Mapp’s two- year term as a St. Croix senator.
Mapp had appealed the Senate decision, claiming an absolute majority of 10 votes was needed to unseat him, but a federal appeals court last week upheld the ruling.
The U.S. Virgin Islands, 40 miles east of Puerto Rico and just west and south of the British Virgin Islands, were purchased by the United States from Denmark in 1917 and are governed as an unincorporated territory of the United States, administered under the Department of the Interior. The inhabitants are U.S. citizens.