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Board of Elections Member Says He Has Reservations About DeGazon’s Candidacy

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CHRISTIANSTED — Attorney General Claude Walker says Allison DeGazon is indeed qualified to run for the Senate.

Walker wrote to Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes after she asked the AG on August 16 to make a ruling on DeGazon’s residency.

“Yes, … candidate DeGazon is a bona fide resident of the Virgin Islands and qualified to run in the 2018 general election,” Walker wrote.

Fawkes’s office on or about August 2 received a letter that questioned the eligibility of DeGazon to run for office in the territory, while listed as a registered agent for a business called Business Strategies VI, LLC, registered in Georgia.

Walker said DeGazon registered to vote here on Nov. 16, 2010, obtained a Virgin Islands Driver’s License on Jan. 27, 2011 and received an Master’s of Business Administration from the University of the Virgin Islands in 2014.

Additionally, from 2012 through 2017, DeGazon was employed by the Virgin Islands Department of Labor (VIDOL) and the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA).

But Virgin Islands Board of Elections member Jevon O.A. Williams said residency questions about DeGazon’s candidacy for the territorial Senate remain unanswered.

Per Virgin Islands law, the supervisor of elections and members of the Board of Elections each have their own due diligence responsibilities and duties to protect the integrity of elections.

“The attorney general of the Virgin Islands has stated that the candidate in question is indeed qualified to run for public office, however, to this day members of the Board of Elections have yet to see this evidence. In good conscience, I cannot affix my signature to any document that will certify an election to which so many questions go unanswered.”

“Unfortunately, members of the Board of Elections seem content on rubber stamping the primary election in spite of the legitimate requests for proof of residency as it pertains to the candidate in question.”

“My decision was based on the need for transparency. Only through transparency can we achieve free, fair and honest elections. I commend members Adelbert M. Bryan and Glenn Webster  for also exercising their own due diligence in this matter.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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