Guaynabo prepares for new mayor

by Jul 18, 2017Elections0 comments

On August 5, Guaynabeños will return to the polling stations to vote for their new mayor. Its previous mayor, Hector O’Neill, resigned amid investigations for alleged sexual harassment. Two candidates, belonging to the New Progressive Party , have officially started their campaign for the position, these being Senator Carmelo Ríos and ex-Representative Angel Perez Otero. Ríosand Perez Otero have both sought out the position of Mayor of Guaynabo and have worked with or in O’Neill’s administration. The citizens of Guaynabo are certainly looking forward to passing the page on the scandal that O’Neill has brought to the municipality though there are still fears that more of the same will remain if either candidate is elected.

Ríoshas already been publicly endorsed by fellow Senator Rivera Schatz, with whom he has shared campaign donors between 2012 and 2017. He has previously received donations by Jose Carrion, the current president of the Oversight Board, and PACs from the following companies: Coca Cola, Comcast, Crowlye Maritime Corporation and Wal-Mart. In 2013, Rios came under fire for sexist comments made about women: “In our society … women are in charge of the house and home; that is changing, but they have a bigger responsibility to men.” In an interview with El Nuevo Día, he was questioned over his silence about the sexual harassment allegations against O’Neill and his previous comments on women.

This is Perez Otero’s second run against for mayor, having been defeated by Hector O’Neill during the 2016 election, and was fined for not handing in income and expense reports of his campaign on time. Before this he had been part of O’Neill’s administration for more than a decade and in 2012 accused him of attempting to derail his re-election as representative through an electoral fraud scheme. As for endorsement, he has commented that he wouldn’t mind being endorsed by Antonio “Tony” Soto, who rescinded his own candidacy for mayor. He has received donation for his current campaign by active government contractors; Hector Jimenez Martinez, Antonio Pabón Battle, Lorenzo Bonilla Agosto and Juan Rexach Urdaz.