Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands
ChairpersonJonathan Cabrera
Vice ChairpersonLuella I. Marciano
SecretaryMelia Johnson
TreasurerShawna Indalecio
HeadquartersSaipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Social liberalism
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors  Blue
2 / 9
House of Representatives
4 / 20
U.S. House of Representatives
1 / 1

The Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands is a political party in the Northern Mariana Islands. It began as a purely local territorial party and is now officially affiliated with the United States' national Democratic Party.


In 1977, the Popular Party changed its name to the Democratic Party. The Popular Party's opponent, the Territorial Party, would change its name to the Republican Party in 1981.[1]

The CNMI has not elected a Democratic Governor since 1993, when Froilan Tenorio was elected. At the legislative elections of November 1, 2003 the party won 1 out of 18 seats. It won an extra seat in the 2005 legislative elections. Its candidate Froilan Tenorio won 18% in the 2005 gubernatorial election. In the November 3, 2007 Commonwealth Legislature elections, the party took only 1 of 20 seats in the House of Representatives.[2][3]

In 2009, for the first time ever, the Democratic Party did not nominate a candidate in the gubernatorial election. They fielded a candidate for Mayor of Saipan (Angelo Villagomez), along with two CNMI House candidates and one CNMI Senate candidate.[4]

In August 2016, the Commonwealth Election Commission recognized the party for the 2016 election year. Three of the 67 political candidates on the NMI are Democrats.[5]

The party organized the 2020 Northern Mariana Islands Democratic caucuses.[6]

In the 2020 elections, four incumbent representatives announced that they would run for re-election as Democrats.[7] The party is running 18 candidates, and supporting 3 independent candidates. Prior to the election, there were zero Democrats in either chamber of the Commonwealth Legislature.[8] The result of the 2020 general election was that the CNMI had experienced a blue wave as the party gained nine Democrats and the three endorsed independents were elected to office.[9] For the time in a decade, representatives affiliated with the Democratic Party had seats in the legislature. In the special election to replace the late Republican legislator Ivan A. Blanco, Democratic candidate Corina Magofna won the special election, flipping the seat.[10]

In the 2022 gubernatorial election, the party nominated Tina Sablan for governor with Leila Staffler as her running mate.[11] She lost the 1st race, conceded, and endorsed independent candidate Arnold Palacios and his running mate David Apatang.[12] The party lost much of their gains from the previous election in the House, winning 4 seats, half of their previous win. They did gain a seat in the Senate, increasing their number to 2.[13]


The Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands has defended Article 12 of the CNMI Constitution which restricts land alienation to persons of Northern Marianas descent.[14]


  1. ^ Porter, Kit (1993). "Starting Northern Marianas College: A Negotiation Perspective" (PDF). Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  2. ^ "Northern Mariana Islands Government 2015, CIA World Factbook". Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  3. ^ The Far East and Australasia 2003. Taylor & Francis Group. 2002. p. 1129. ISBN 9781857431339. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  4. ^ "2010 Northern Marianas Islands Congressional Race". D.C.'s Political Report. D.C. Finegold-Sachs. Archived from the original on September 22, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Villahermosa, Cherrie Anne E. (August 18, 2016). "Democrats recognized as NMI political party". Marianas Variety. Retrieved August 20, 2016.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Presidential caucus announcement". Retrieved March 13, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Propst, Edwin (June 19, 2020). "Why I'm running as a Democrat and why the CNMI needs a two-party system". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  8. ^ De La Torre, Ferdie (August 7, 2020). "66 candidates, 2 judges, 1 justice for retention". Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  9. ^ De La Torre, Ferdie (November 6, 2020). "Hix assures successful Democratic bets will deliver". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  10. ^ "Magofna Wins Northern Mariana Islands Special Election". October 18, 2021.
  11. ^ Post, Emmanuel T. Erediano | For The Guam Daily. "CNMI Dems endorse Sablan for governor". The Guam Daily Post. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  12. ^ Limol, K.-Andrea Evarose. "Torres tops gubernatorial race; Sablan endorses Palacios in runoff". Marianas Variety News & Views. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  13. ^ "2022-general-election-results | 2022 | Election". Commonwealth Election Commission. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  14. ^ Dayao, Jun (May 21, 2014). "Democratic Party of NMI defends Article 12". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved April 21, 2016.