ST. CROIX — St.Kitts born attorney and Virgin Islands Senator Tregenza Roach became the first St.Kitts native to become Lt Governor of the Virgin Isands.
Albert Bryan and Tregenza Roach the Democrat who beat their competitors during the August 4, Democratic Primary Election to face the Independent candidates and sitting governor during the General Election, yesterday went head-to-head with Governor Kenneth Mapp in the runoff and has emerged victorious .
Governor-Elect Bryan will be the ninth elected governor of the Virgin Islands . Bryan and Roach unseated Gov. Kenneth Mapp with a message built on changing course, unity and accelerating a hurricane recovery many feel has been slow and mismanaged.
Mr. Mapp was able to hold St. Croix and won there by a definitive margin, but Mr. Mapp’s weakness in St. Thomas — where he was trounced by the Mr. Bryan/Roach Campaign — ultimately ended his political career. Governor Mapp is only the third incumbent governor in U.S. Virgin Islands history to be defeated in four years; the other governors to realize a similar fate was Roy Lester Schneider, who was roundly beaten by former Governor Charles W. Turnbull in 1998, and Melvin Evans in 1975.
Mr. Bryan ended the night with 11,796 votes to Mr. Mapp’s 9,766, according to the Election System of the Virgin Islands.
Born in St. Kitts, Roach moved to the USVI with his parents, Victor and Iona Roach, who had made St. Thomas their home years earlier.
He graduated from the Charlotte Amalie High School and attended the then College of the Virgin Islands, transferring to the University of Missouri-Columbia to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1981. He launched his journalism career as a reporter for the Virgin Islands Daily News and became news editor.
He earned a law degree from Connecticut School of Law in 1989. He clerked in the Office of the Governor’s Legal Counsel, the Office of the United States Attorney, and at the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands. After earning his law degree, he worked in the Territorial Court’s Civil and Family divisions and then in private practice as an associate attorney at Bornn, Bornn, Handy and Rashid. He has been a member of the Virgin Islands Bar since his admission in 1991.
Roach began a career of public service as Legal Counsel to the Commissioner of Education, for more than eight years and was then selected as Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Board of Education. He went on to work with the University of the Virgin Islands.
He served on the adjunct faculty of the University of the Virgin Islands from 1999 to 2012, teaching courses in the humanities. He also taught a constitutional law course in the graduate program in education. He has been a V.I. senator for almost six years.
Roach is also a published author and poet and recently published his first book for children: “The Lesson Box,” which joins his other publications, “The Blessing of Rain and Other Poems,” and “All This Is Love: A Collection of Virgin Islands Poetry, Art and Prose.”