Puerto Rico’s Governor Loses Primary Bid For Full Term
Though votes were still being tabulated Sunday night, results showed Pierluisi with a commanding lead in polls. It was the second day of voting in what had turned out to be a chaotic primary election in Puerto Rico. Voting last Sunday was suspended after election officials failed to deliver ballots to polling places across the island. Pierluisi will now stand as the candidate of the New Progressive Party in November’s general election. The party supports statehood for the U.S. territory.
Gov. Vázquez — who had previously served as the island’s attorney general — assumed the governorship last summer following the resignation of then-governor Ricardo Rosselló amid massive protests. Though she’d initially said she intended only to serve the remainder of Rosselló’s term, she soon changed her mind, mounting an aggressive campaign for a full term in her own right.
Pierluisi is the island’s former representative in Congress and had briefly assumed the governorship following Rosselló’s resignation last summer. Rosselló had hand-picked him as his successor shortly before leaving office, but that decision was invalidated by the island’s Supreme Court, which ruled that as attorney general, Vázquez was next in the line of succession.
BREAKING: Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez acknowledges losing the primaries of her pro-statehood party to Pedro Pierluisi, who briefly served as the U.S. territory’s governor last year amid political turmoil. https://t.co/AsYJ8FTDUa
— Dánica Coto (@danicacoto) August 16, 2020
The other major party on the island is the Partido Popular Democratico (PPD), the Popular Democratic Party. They are the party that supports remaining affiliated with the U.S., but not as a state. The party does not have unanimity on just exactly what that would be; different factions within the party have called for differing solutions. The name most mainlanders are aware of in their primary is that of mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, primarily because of her stance calling out Trump after Hurricane Maria and her ties to mainland Democrat Bernie Sanders. However, her vote total was dismal. According to the state election commission website, she only got a reported 13.3%. The winner of the “populares” primary was Carlos “Charlie” Delgado, who has been the mayor of Isabela since 2001. He has garnered 63.11% so far.
Juan Dalmau ran unopposed for the Independence Party, Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño, and Alexandra Lugaro is the candidate for the newly formed Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana — Citizen’s Victory Movement.