ST. CROIX – Former Senator Kenneth Gittens will have the opportunity to run for office again in November, according to an unofficial tally of 1,521 votes from Saturday’s Democratic primary.
The votes placed Mr. Gittens in sixth place in the St. Croix legislative race, above Oakland Benta’s 1,428 votes in seventh place, according to results posted on the Election System of the Virgin Islands website at 9:28 p.m.
Mr. Gittens once had a seat in the 31st legislature but lost the race to serve with the current Senate.
Saturday night, he said he didn’t want to look backward but wanted to focus on the future instead.
“I’m not worried about the last time,” he said. “We’re beyond the last time, and I’m grateful now to get the opportunity to be going forward in the general election.”
Nonetheless, Mr. Gittens said he believed there was a low turnout at the polls during the previous election. The numbers from tonight’s tally, he said, were also disappointing. He sees a need to encourage more voters to take action.
On his decision to run for office again, Mr. Gittens said he wants to offer his abilities to a territory that faces significant challenges.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, and I’m willing and able. I just said, ‘I gotta offer myself again. I’m not gonna sit back on the sidelines and just complain,” he said.
He believes that tonight’s voters see those abilities and that’s why they came out to support.
“They know that I have something to offer,” he said, “and they do believe that I can do a good job and they came out in support, and I appreciate that. And I wanna say thank you to them as well.”
Mr. Gittens also congratulated the other winners and to those who didn’t make it through the primary but “offered up themselves for public service.”
The next phase, he said, is to continue campaigning and working on his platform.