Lt. Governor of Guam 1987-1995

Frank Flores Blas, Sr. (1941-2016) was a Chamorro politician, businessman and member of the Republican Party of Guam. Blas served as the Lieutenant Governor of Guam from 1987 until 1995 for two consecutive terms under Governor Joseph F. Ada.

Early Life

Blas was born 20 March 1941. He attended Father Duenas Memorial School and graduated from St. Augustine High School, in San Diego, California. In 1962, he graduated from the College of Guam with an associate’s degree in accounting. Blas continued his education at the University of Portland in 1965 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. While studying at the University of Portland, Blas became close friends with Joseph Franklin Ada, who would become his running mate in Guam’s gubernatorial election in 1986.

Blas and his former wife, the late Lydia Blas had two children: Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr., and Lynette. In 1971, Blas married his second wife, Tina, and they had three children: Paul, Yvette, and Y’Buena.

Early Career

Blas worked in the private sector for the Mobil Petroleum Company of Guam from 1965 to 1969. He then became the Director of the Department of Commerce of Guam from 1969 to 1972.

Make a Wish Foundation

On 17 August 1988, Blas founded the Make-A-Wish Foundation Chapter on Guam. The Guam Chapter grants wishes to the children of Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan, who have life-threatening medical conditions.

There was a very compassionate side of him, according to former Gov. Joseph Ada said of Blas. Making a wish come true for a child touched many people.

Political Career

Blas was elected to the Legislature of Guam, where he served as a Senator in the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th Guam Legislatures from 1974 to 1984.

The 13th Guam Legislature created the second Political Status Commission of Guam in 1975.  Unlike the first commission, the second Political Status Commission was comprised of members from both political parties and two village commissioners (mayors). Frank Blas, a senator at the time, was selected as Chair of the commission

In 1986, Blas ran for Lieutenant Governor with his best friend from college, Joseph F. Ada, as Governor of Guam. The pair were elected for two consecutive terms, in which Blas served as Ada’s Lieutenant Governor from January 1987 to January 1995. In a 1990 interview, Blas said his main roles as Lieutenant Governor were to be Governor Ada’s right hand and support him, as well as work as a liaison between the Governor’s administration and lawmakers in the Legislature.

In 1992, Lt. Governor Blas established the Great Seal of Guam park at Paseo.

Since Blas and Ada could no longer run together, as Ada had already served two terms as Governor, Blas declared his bid for Governor with Simon Sanchez as his running mate. During a debate before the 1994 Republican gubernatorial primary election, Blas said that he received great satisfaction from serving the people of Guam and wanted to continue the tradition of honesty started during the Ada administration. However, Blas and Sanchez lost the 1994 Republican primary election to Tommy Tanaka and Doris Brooks. Democrat Carl Gutierrez, with Madeleine Bordallo as his Lieutenant Governor, won the 1994 gubernatorial election.

Later Career

Blas retired from elected office in January 1995 after finishing his two terms as Lieutenant Governor. He owned and operated Frank Blas & Associates, an insurance brokerage firm based in Barrigada, Guam.

In 2003, Blas was appointed Chairman of the board of directors of the Antonio B. Won Pat Guam International Airport Authority, a government agency which operates the airport. Joseph Ada credited Blas for being one of a few officials who pushed for the airport authority to become a more independent agency. The airport now is a very self-sustaining authority, Ada said. It met the demand of the tourists and Guam has benefited tremendously.

In a resolution by the Guam legislature in 2005, senators commended and congratulated Blas on his appointment to the board of directors of the International Association of Airport Executives, stating that Guam’s airport had thrived under Blas’ leadership, “resolving historic[al] issues and aggressively pursuing facility expansion and long-term regional marketing opportunities.” Senators also credited Blas for the airport’s significant cost savings and implementation of higher standards of workmanship.

Blas also was a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.

Frank Blas died on 1 August 2016, at the age of 75.

By Chloe B. Babauta

For further reading

Guam Make a Wish Website