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Tue Jan 12, 2021, 02:35 AM

James Leaves Democratic Party and Newly Formed Majority, Portending 'Turmoil and Chaos'; Gittens

James Leaves Democratic Party and Newly Formed Majority, Portending 'Turmoil and Chaos'; Gittens Will No Longer Be Majority Leader

The newly formed Senate majority of the incoming 34th Legislature, announced Monday by Senator Kenneth Gittens, has already seen impactful disruptions even though the body has not officially organized. In its release, the incoming Senate Majority of Democrats announced it had 10 members, which at the time included Senator Javan James. Additionally, Mr. Gittens was set to serve as majority leader and Senator Donna Frett-Gregory as Senate president.

But Mr. James, in a statement on Facebook and on a call with the Consortium Saturday, confirmed that he had left the majority and the Democratic Party to become an independent lawmaker. And sources with knowledge of the formation proceedings told the Consortium that Mr. Gittens, who had not left the party, would no longer serve as majority leader; the position, sources say, will be held by Senator Marvin Blyden, who also served as majority leader in the 33rd Legislature.

The 34th Legislature will be sworn in on Monday.

"After careful consideration with my confidants and advisors, I have decided to switch to an independent (No Party)," Mr. James wrote on Facebook. "During my tenure as a freshman Senator, I have served with pride and honor as a member of two majorities in the 33rd Legislature of the Virgin Islands. However, it came with a lot of ups and downs as I was a part of two changes of the Democratic majority. A lot of challenges came as a result of those significant changes in the Senate."

Mr. James told the Consortium that he was looking to the future and decided it was best to leave the party. "I am a man who always deal with futuristic thinking; I don't want to be a part of that drama," Mr. James said. The senator said he had a "gut feeling" the 34th Legislature's majority will have "turmoil and chaos," adding, "I rather stay no party, independent."

Read more: https://viconsortium.com/vi-politics/virgin-islands-james-leaves-democratic-party-and-newly-formed-majority-portending-turmoil-and-chaos-gittens-will-no-longer-be-majority-leader

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