Unofficial results of Saturday’s primary voting show St. John resident Craig Barshinger with about 47 percent of the ballots to win the right to contest for the VI Senate’s At Large seat in the general election in November. His victory was a virtual landslide as his closest opponent garnered just 19 percent.
Barshinger will run for the fifth time against incumbent Sen. Almando Liburd. Both men live on St. John. Barshinger is working with other locals to present a proposal to the Governor to give the island some self-governing rights. He also told a pre-election forum in Coral Bay he believes pollution of the Harbor is a serious issue.
“I’m very pleased,” Barshinger said, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News. “I have spent many hours working with the people of the Virgin Islands … (the results) let me know I’m on the right track,” he said. The candidate said joining the Democratic Party four years ago has helped him develop “deep ties” on the islands, the newspaper report said. Liburd is an independent.
In other results, Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen pummeled her opponent, beating Basil C. Ottley, 77 percent to 23 percent. While voter turnout was seen as a record, reports indicated less than 15 percent of registered voters cast ballots.
All 15 incumbent Senators were running for reelection, but voters turned out three of them. One was David Jones, the current Senate president. Results were viewed as both a repudiation of the current Democratic leadership on St. Croix and a cry for new blood within the party, the Daily News reported.