Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 21, 2018 – St. Kitts-born Tregenza Roach, will occupy the second highest elected office in the United States Virgin Islands come January 2019.
The Albert Bryan-Tregenza Roach gubernatorial ticket defeated incumbent Ronald Mapp in a run-off on Tuesday.
According to V.I. Consortium, the Bryan-Roach ticket ended the night with 11,796 votes to Mr. Mapp’s 9,766, quoting the Election System of the Virgin Islands.
The bid was one long in the making, as Mr. Bryan started preparing for his run over two years ago. The hard work and dedication has paid off; Mr. Bryan stunned the incumbent governor by overwhelmingly carrying the St. Thomas-St. John District, while collecting enough votes in St. Croix to take him over the edge.
For outgoing Governor Mapp, the story was different. He was able to hold St. Croix and won there by a definitive margin (the governor collected 7,133 votes on St. Croix to Mr. Bryan’s 3,838), but Mr. Mapp’s weakness in St. Thomas – where he was trounced by Mr. Bryan who had 7,958 votes at the end of the night to Mr. Mapp’s 2,633 – ultimately ended his political career.
Governor Mapp is only the third incumbent governor in U.S. Virgin Islands history to be defeated after their first term; the other governors to realize a similar fate was Roy Lester Schneider, who was roundly beaten by former Governor Charles W. Turnbull in 1998, and Melvin Evans in 1974.
With the catchy slogan “Change Course Now,” calling on Virgin Islanders to abandon the current administration’s style of governance for something different, the Bryan-Roach campaign was able to successful capitalize on Governor
Mapp’s many self-inflicted wounds, much of which were caused by the governor’s boorish character and unbridled tongue.
Mr. Mapp’s defeat tonight, many political observers say, was not because he failed to move the U.S. Virgin Islands forward, but because of a character and demeanor that was rejected by residents.
Mr. Bryan, who ran a brilliant and first-rate campaign that took advantage of social media, simply capitalized on the governor’s own mistakes and presented himself as a unifier of the U.S. Virgin Islands and a competent leader. The flood of endorsements that Mr. Bryan received, including that of Senator Alicia Hansen and Adlah Donastorg, also appeared to have aided in sealing the victory.