As of noon Eastern Time, the first Democratic United States congressperson has been reelected. Besides for the fact that he is neither a Democrat, from the United States, or a congressperson.

With votes from 13 of the island's 15 precincts counted, Gregorio Kilili Sablan has won 5,597 votes against his opponent, Ignacia Demepan's, 1,400 votes. Sablan is the current delegate for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, while Demepan is an elementary school principal.

All of the United States vote (or at least finish their voting) on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This is by local time, which is 15 hours ahead of the time on the East Coast of the United States. Thus, when the polls closed at 7 PM local time, it was 4 AM back in Washington, D.C.. The Northern Mariana Islands would thus be the first entity within the United States to finish and tabulate their votes. Due to the fact that the Islands are islands, and the votes had to be gathered to a central location, it was at least five hours from the end of polling until returns appeared.

Delegate Sablan has been the island's representative in Congress since his position was created, by a law signed by George W Bush in 2008. As a delegate, he sits in the United States Congress, takes part in committees, but can not actually vote. He is an Independent, but caucuses with the Democrats.

I don't know what issues came up in the campaign between Delegate Sablan and Principal Demepan. It is a long way from the local issues of the sparsely populated Northern Mariana Islands to the suburbs of Ohio where this election is likely to be decided, but the reelection of Delegate Sablan is a sign that the process is working. And, it is the first news we have to chew on until polls start to close in the continental United States.

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