President-elect Donald Trump’s designee for Interior secretary is a “friend of the Virgin Islands,” the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands said in statement.
Congressman Ryan Zinke, R-Montana, was officially named Interior secretary-designee Thursday.
“President-elect Trump’s strong commitment to the U.S. territories is reflected by his choice of Congressman Zinke as secretary of Interior,” Jevon Williams, the Republican national committeeman from the Virgin Islands, said in a statement issued on behalf of the party. “Congressman Zinke is a friend of the Virgin Islands, who will pick up the phone when we call him.”
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Zinke would oversee the Department of Interior, which has jurisdiction over the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
Zinke has been strongly supported by the VIGOP in his campaigns for Congress. He was on St. Thomas in November, when he spoke at a party-sponsored conference. The party also sent Zinke a congratulatory letter.
VIGOP leaders, led by Chairman John Canegata, Williams and National Committeewoman Lilliana Belardo de O’Neal, have been supporting Trump’s transition.
By custom, party leaders in states and territories without a senator or member of Congress of the same party are consulted for presidential appointments including U.S. attorney, U.S. marshal and federal court judgeships.