“I come from a family of farmers. And being a son of a farmer, I’ve never been afraid of hard work. Lifelong lessons were taught to me on the farm. The value of hard work. Stay active and productive. Humility in failure; and grace in success. My Dad and Mom taught me what I needed to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground — in faith and in family. That’s where my roots are still to this day.”
I remember the moment that ignited my desire to dedicate my life to serving the people of Guam. It was at a Democratic Youth Leadership meeting with the late Governor Ricky Bordallo when he spoke passionately about our culture and who we are as a people, the opportunities higher education would bring to those of us who seek it and the young leaders and possibly governors among us who will influence the future of our island and her people. I knew then that service is more than a commitment, it’s a way of life. Throughout the course of the past three decades, my aspirations as a young CHamoru evolved from believing that I could do anything with hard work and determination to knowing for certain that public service requires hard work, determination and the willingness to listen to the people of Guam.
Being a son of a farmer, I’ve never been afraid of hard work. As a kid, my siblings and I would work the farm until the sun came up, and then attend morning mass, where my brother and I were altar servers, all before school. After school, it was back to the farm to work and finish our daily chores. My dad would farm anywhere in the south. If there was a property he thought was underutilized, he was going to farm on it which usually meant that my siblings and I were going to be promoted with additional duties. He taught me how to plow the fields to get rid of the weeds before planting the seeds, to set up drip hoses for irrigation, to harvesting the crops and preparing them for the markets. From plowing to politics, my dad gave me what I needed to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground—faith and family.
“If there’s one thing public service has taught me, it’s that failures are merely setbacks; they are reasons to get back up and try harder next time. If it wasn’t for those setbacks, I don’t think I would be here today, asking the people of Guam to elect me as their governor.”
My wife Jennifer Quichocho Uncangco Lujan Aguon and I have been together for 29 years. We married at a young age and with a toddler, an infant and very little money, we moved to Colorado so that I could attend the University of Denver. While Jen worked at a coffee shop to cover our expenses, I watched the kids at home and then we switched duties when I went to attend my classes. Like many young families, we lived paycheck to paycheck sometimes even struggling to pay rent and utilities. In 1988, I received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver in Business Personnel Management and continued my education and obtained an M.B.A. in Business Finance and Economics also from the University of Denver in 1990. Jen and I were and still are a great team!
Today, I am a husband to my loving wife and life partner, a father of four young adults and a grandfather of seven beautiful grandchildren. As a Lieutenant Colonel , I served proudly in the Guam Air National Guard for the 254th Air Base Group with some of the finest men and women on-island. I am a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, and a nine-term Senator of the Guam Legislature.
It’s been said that when you do something you enjoy, it’s no longer ‘work’. I am humbled and deeply honored to have served the people of Guam as their senator for as long as I have. And if there’s one thing public service has taught me, it’s that failures are merely setbacks; they are reasons to get back up and try harder next time. If it wasn’t for those setbacks, I don’t think I would be here today, asking the people of Guam to elect me as their governor.
I know the problems our government faces today. I’m aware of the pressing issues that will present themselves in the future. And its high time for this government to start getting realistic with our plans for the future. The plans, ideas and solutions to implement at the executive level are infinite. But the hard work, determination, and inspiration to serve as your governor is simple: You.