Puerto Rico’s current Resident Commissioner, Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon (R), will challenge the current Governor, Pedro Pierluisi (D). Since both candidates are a part of the New Progressive Party (NPP), they will face off in the primaries next year.
Gonzalez-Colon is very popular among her constituents. She has maintained her popularity after winning the election with 48.77% of the vote, the most significant number of votes of any candidate. When she was elected as Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in the United States Congress in 2016, she made history as the first woman and youngest person to be elected to the position.
As the Resident Commissioner, she is Puerto Rico’s only representative in the US Congress. Despite not having voting powers, Gonzalez-Colon has been one of the strongest advocates for Puerto Rico’s statehood, especially in the past few years with the Puerto Rico Status Act. In addition to statehood, she has worked to improve Puerto Rico’s relationship with the US federal government.
Gonzalez-Colon vows to focus on improving the healthcare system, strengthening the education sector, and effectively restoring the power grid after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Before becoming the Governor of the island in 2020, Pedro Pierlusi served as the Resident Commissioner for eight consecutive years. He said he will seek reelection for Governor in 2024.
In 2020, Pierluisi and Gonzalez ran together on the NNP ballot, despite being on different national parties since Puerto Rico’s elections are based on local political parties. They are expected to participate in a heated debate for the NPP candidacy, representing statehood for the island. The primary winner will face the candidate of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) and potentially a candidate from the allied Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) and Citizen’s Victory Movement (CVM).