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US Virgin Islands bucks the mainland's GOP tide

By With Analysis from Monitor Correspondents around the world, Edited by Randy Shipp / November 7, 1980



Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Contrary to the trend on the mainland, voters in the US Virgin Islands gave more power to the Democratic Party, firming up Democratic control of the island legislature.

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Monitor Latin America Correspondent James Nelson Goodsell writes that Democrat Ron DeLugo also easily beat incumbent Republican Melvin H. Evans for the nonvoting congressional delegate post. The delegate, the island's official observer and advocate in Washington, is responsible for keeping an eye on how US legislation will affect the Virgin Islands.

Campaign issues centered on the economy of the islands. In recent years inflation and unemployment have accelerated, while tourism has lagged. The situation is particularly bad for blacks.Racial tension has been high, particularly on St. Croix, the largest island, reminding many islanders of the wave of violence in the early 1970s, when about 20 whites were killed in an 18 -month period.