Ralph Torres shared a light moment with Arnold Palacios during last week's Education Day festivities Photo: Mark Rabago

SAIPAN Z PACIFIC) — Northern Marianas has a new mayor after the incumbent, Ralph Torres, conceded to his rival in the run-off.

Torres, a Republican, has congratulated Lieutenant-Governor Arnold Palacios after he and his running mate, Saipan Mayor David Apatang, seemingly built an insurmountable lead in last Friday’s gubernatorial vote.

The independent tandem of Palacios-Apatang currently have 7,077 votes compared to the 6,017 votes of Torres and his running mate, Senator Vinnie Sablan.

The Commonwealth Election Commission said only absentee ballots remain uncounted, adding they sent out a little over 2,000 with them having already received some 300 of them.

Palacios said he was humbled by the number of votes he and Apatang received.

He added that he has yet to hear from Torres.

But in a statement, Torres conceded to Palacios and said he and the new governor-elect have personally spoken over the weekend.

“We shared a good, honest, and light-hearted conversation about our campaigns, our relationship, and the path forward for our Commonwealth. He and Lieutenant Governor-elect David Apatang ran a hard campaign, but through it all, come January when Governor Palacios takes his oath of office, he will be my governor and I will give him the respect both he and the position deserves,” he said.

Torres added that he and Sablan embrace the results of the election and the strength of the democratic system.

After the initial election on 8 November, in which Torres won from Palacios by five points, with the Democratic pair of Cristina Sablan and Leila Staffler, a further five points behind, the Democrats endorsed Palacios…. PACNEWS

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