Christensen, Redfield now face 3 independents in delegate race

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Incumbent Donna Christensen was the top Democratic vote-getter in the Delegate to Congress race in Saturday's primaries - although her challenger, first-time candidate Stacey Plaskett, made a strong showing.

Republicans also chose their candidate for Delegate to Congress on Saturday, with Holland Redfield II soundly beating opponent Vincent Danet in that party's primary.

"I am really thankful for the win," Christensen said late Saturday night. "I congratulate my opponent on a strong run."

According to unofficial results Saturday night from electronic voting territorywide, Christensen had 3,589 votes, or 57.48 percent of the vote, compared with Plaskett's 2,653 votes, or 42.49 percent.

Among St. Croix Democrats who opted to use paper ballots, Plaskett won more votes, with 205, than did Christensen, who had 76.

On St. Thomas, the Board of Elections opted against counting paper ballots Saturday night.

However, with a strong lead of more than 900 votes in the electronic tally, Christensen will be the Democratic candidate for the delegate seat.

Christensen thanked the voters who turned out on Saturday.

"We're really happy about the outcome," she said.

She said that a difficult economic situation in the territory - with people unhappy, feeling the pain of harsh economic realities and anxious about the future - can pose challenges for incumbents.

"There are a lot of forces at play," Christensen said, adding that she thinks other candidates took advantage of the fact that "people still don't understand the role of Delegate to Congress."

"I think I took a lot of hits for things that really are not in the purview of the delegate," she said.

Plaskett said that she was "proud" of her supporters across the territory - and thankful for them.

She said late Saturday that she had called Christensen to congratulate her.

Plaskett said she had a "grassroots" campaign, which she believes ran a "tremendous" challenge.

Plaskett said she plans to continue to be engaged in the community. She may run for delegate again in the future after consulting with her family and supporters, she said.

In the Republican primary, Redfield earned 124 electronic votes, or 72.51 percent, compared with Danet's 46 votes, or 26.9 percent, for the delegate seat, according to unofficial tallies.

Among Republicans who chose paper ballots on St. Croix, Redfield won 8 votes to Danet's 4, with two leaving the ballot blank for that race.

Redfield said he is "grateful for the overwhelming support," and urged healing of wounds within the party so that the party can "move forward united."

A man who answered a contact number for Danet on Sunday afternoon said that Danet was not taking calls from reporters.

Redfield said he is looking forward to the General Election.

"Obviously, this is only the first step," Redfield said of the primary. "The challenges of running in the General Election are entirely different challenges."

Even though there are far fewer registered Republicans than Democrats in the territory, Redfield said he believes Virgin Islands voters don't necessarily vote along party lines - but on the candidate they believe will best serve them.

In the General Election, five candidates will vie for the Delegate to Congress seat: Christensen, Redfield and no-party candidates Guillaume Mimoun, Norma Pickard Samuel and Warren Mosler.

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