Marking the first projected Democratic win of the 2018 midterms, Guam's new governor, Lou Leon Guerrero is also the first woman to be elected to the position, according to final unofficial results reported on by The Washington Post, Pacific Daily News, and radio station KUAM. Upon certification, Governor-elect Leon Guerrero and lieutenant governor elect Josh Tenorio will have won their election by a significant margin.
While polls began closing on Tuesday evening in the continental United States, it was already Wednesday morning in Guam, a U.S. territory. According to figures reported by the Guam's election commission, Leon Guerrero and Tenoria had earned 18,081, or approximately 50.7 percent of the total vote. Their main opponents, meanwhile, earned only 9,419 votes. The remaining 8,161 votes reportedly went to write-in candidates.
“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity given to us to make a positive change for all our people," Leon Guerrero said, according to the Pacific Daily News.
Approximately 22.8 percent of voters opted to write in a gubernatorial candidate, according to the News, which delayed the tallying process. Voting machines are reportedly programmed to stop once they detect a write-in vote, which slowed things down.
The reason the election results are not set in stone is because, according to the Guam Daily Post, there are 200 e-ballots and 50 homebound ballots still waiting to be counted. The territory's election commission reportedly has 10 days to receive these ballots, after which the election will officially be certified. But that didn't stop Democrats from celebrating the results.
In Guam, if a candidate does not receive 50 percent of the votes plus one vote, a final election must take place, per the Daily Post. However, the final count indicates that Leon Guerrero is the winner by a large enough margin that a run-off election will not be necessary, according to the Washington Post.
"We’re even more excited about starting on with the work that we have to do ahead of us,” Leon Guerrero said, according to the Daily Post. She added, "Today is a great celebration for ourselves, our people, and of course, our supporters. We’re very happy with the results."
Tenorio was similarly enthusiastic about their projected electoral success. “It’s an awesome, humbling experience to see all these people out here with us doing so many things for the island," he said, per the Daily Post. "There’s a lot of people who have a lot of hopes and aspirations and trust in us. Our work everyday will be to meet those expectations and give them the best possible job that we can give them."
Leon Guerrero is the ninth elected governor of Guam, according to the Hill, and she will be able to serve up to two four-year terms, if and when she is officially sworn in. Because Guam is not a state, its participation in the U.S. federal government is limited. The territory has one non-voting representative in Congress and is not allowed to vote in presidential elections.
Leon Guerrero currently works as the president of the Bank of Guam, per the Hill. After her official swearing-in, she will begin her term in 2019.