Statement on new Interior secretary

Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands Chairman John Canegata issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate confirmation of Congressman Ryan Zinke as secretary of the Department of Interior:

“For too long Democrats in the U.S. Senate played partisan politics and stalled the confirmation of Congressman and now Secretary Zinke, who will be responsible for the millions of Americans living in the territories. Secretary Zinke can finally get to work on addressing the important issues facing our island communities as well as those of the other territories.”

Zinke, of Montana, was last in the Virgin Islands in November 2016, when he attended a summit sponsored by the territorial GOP.

Canegata, Virgin Islands Republican National Committeewoman Lilliana Belardo de O’Neal and Republican National Committeeman Jevon Williams attended Zinke’s confirmation hearing in January.

Statement on President Trump’s address to joint session of Congress


Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands Chairman John Canegata issued the following statement ahead of President Donald J. Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

“President Trump has a bold and optimistic vision for our country that puts America first and party politics second. President Trump is fulfilling the promises he made to the American people at a record-setting place — not only is he bringing back Americans jobs, but he is meeting with territorial leaders, recognizing our unique position in the fabric of the country. It is my sincere hope that Congresswoman Plaskett will drop the partisan politics and instead join with President Trump to help make America and the Caribbean great again.”

Canegata has been working closely with the Trump administration to ensure issues impacting the Virgin Islands are heard in the halls of government.

Statement on firebombing of St. Thomas federal offices

Robert Max Schanfarber, the Republican nominee in the upcoming special election for the territorial Legislature, issued the following statement in response to the firebombing of U.S. military recruiter offices on St. Thomas:

“This deeply troubling incident is yet another reminder of just how dangerous and evil today’s world is. I am committed to strengthening law enforcement in the territory and working with the Republican majority in Washington to ensure the establishment of a standalone Coast Guard station, which would be critical in combatting terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and illegal firearms.”

Schanfarber, a St. Thomas entrepreneur, was nominated by the State Committee of the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands to run in the April 8 special election.

GOP nominee Schanfarber files for special election

Local entrepreneur Robert Max Schanfarber has filed for the ballot in the April 8 special election after receiving the Republican nomination for the vacant St. Thomas—St. John seat in the territorial Legislature.

The Republican State Committee nominated Schanfarber earlier this week. He filed all the necessary candidacy paperwork with the Elections System before today’s filing deadline.

“My candidacy isn’t about party or ideology,” Schanfarber said. “It’s about cutting taxes, making pay checks better for all Virgin Islanders, and ensuring the territorial government’s promises to workers and retirees are kept.”

Schanfarber, who serves as secretary of the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands, pledged to never support a tax increase as a member of the Legislature.

“Virgin Islanders are taxed enough,” he said. “Just as working families and main street business owners have to tighten the belt when times are tough so should Government House and the Legislature.”

As a member of the Virgin Islands delegation to last year’s Republican National Convention Schanfarber gained national attention for his service on the Rules Committee after he successfully fought to ensure the voice of the five U.S. territories remained equal with the voice of the 50 states and District of Columbia in the selection of the GOP presidential and vice presidential nominees.

GOP statement on Plaskett’s $100 million claim

Virgin Islands GOP National Committeeman Jevon Williams responded to Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett’s claim that the federal government has shortchanged the territorial government in excess of $100 million.

On behalf of the Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands, Williams released the following statement: “Congresswoman Plaskett conveniently ignores the fact that it was her political party that ran the Treasury Department for the past eight years. Why didn’t Congresswoman Plaskett speak out sooner if she believes the Virgin Islands has been shortchanged? Waiting until the new president took over to blame the new administration is yet another example of petty partisanship on the part of Congresswoman Plaskett, who has shown she is more interested in playing petty, partisan political games than delivering results for our island communities.”