In Puerto Rico, it is already 2016

by Jul 1, 2013Elections, Headlines0 comments

While in the national sphere many have begun speculating about the 2016 presidential, the fact is they are already behind Puerto Rico’s politicians, especially those from the New Progressive Party. In the 3.7 million people archipelago, the race for 2016 has already begun, not a full year after the 2012 elections which removed the New Progressive Party from power, leaving only Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi standing.

Pierluisi in fact, is in the middle of a public relations battle with Ricardo Rossello, son of former governor Pedro Rossello, as both are often mentioned as possible candidates to presumably face Alejandro Garcia Padilla for the governorship of the territory. Both have stated that this is not the time for candidacies, but the tension between the camps is clear, and in social media there is an evident divide between NPP members. The controversy went further last week, with NPP Electoral Commisioner Henry Neumann stating that it was better for the party not to have primaries, prompting Pierluisi to issue a statement welcoming the possibility of primaries in the party.

On other races, the campaign appears to be in full swing. In San Juan for instance, Miguel Romero, former Labor Secretary and Chief of Staff to former Governor Luis Fortuño, is constantly meeting with party activists throughout San Juan, in the looks of securing the nomination to become mayor of the capital city. There were rumors of Romero facing former NPP President Leo Diaz, who is closely aligned with Ricardo Rossello, but Romero seems to be gathering widespread support ahead of a potential primary.

Others who are leaving subtle hints at their future aspirations include Philip Arroyo, the current President of the Puerto Rico Young Democrats, who recently announced that he would not be seeking a third term with the organization, and has been promoting the idea of a new generation within the party.

When asked in a radio interview, Arroyo did not rule out a future possible run, which could include a Senate run or one for the Resident Commissioner spot. The latter seems unlikely, since Arroyo himself has been subtlety suggesting that current RC Pierluisi remain in that seat for purposes of seniority in Congress, a fact that also hints that Arroyo is with Rossello’s side in the potential party gubernatorial primary.

With these events, and at this pace, the next 4 years look to be extremely politically active in Puerto Rico, so stay tuned because we’re in for a ride. Unless you dislike politics, but then you wouldn’t be reading this in the first place.