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New Progressive Party sees first candidates for resident commissioner seat

by | Dec 20, 2023 | Elections, Puerto Rico | 0 comments

As Jenniffer González-Colón (R), Puerto Rico’s current Resident Commissioner, is running for the gubernatorial nomination for the New Progressive Party (PNP), there is now an open seat for the 2024 elections.  

González-Colón has also become the first gubernatorial candidate to select a running mate, holding an event in front of the José Celso Barbosa House Museum in Bayamón to announce Elmer Román. 

Román was the former Secretary of State and a retired captain of the United States Navy. González-Colón’s campaign manager, Anibal Vega Borges, commented on Román saying, “He is a person with great capacity, intelligence, an organized person, and he is a person who, in my opinion, brings together all the intellectual, moral, and ethical qualities to represent us in the United States Congress.” 

In addition to being the Secretary of State under Wanda Vazquez (NPP, R), he also served as Secretary of the Department of Public Security (DSP) under Ricardo Rossello. 

At the event, Román noted his goals to promote economic development through investments in Puerto Rico and new manufacturing companies.

He commented, “My humble desire is to serve my people, my people, and my family. I want to see a Puerto Rico progressing, being competitive at the national and global level, with political stability. The impulse is already there, in Jenniffer’s legacy”. 

He will make his pre-candidacy official in his hometown, Yauco, on December 17. 

Roman faced some backlash from the current governor, Pedro Pierluisi’s campaign, when they claimed he did not meet the legal requirements for the resident commissioner position. 

Vega Borges responded to this accusation and showed his support for Román by saying, “So, an American citizen, a veteran, they want to challenge him… I tell them that this challenge, if they make it, is a vicious, false, slanderous challenge and they will not prevail”.

Before this formal declaration of the new candidate for resident commissioner, Senator William Villafañe and Representative José “Quiquito” Meléndez had expressed their intention for the PNP candidacy. Both support incumbent governor Pedro Pierluisi in the nomination race.

Meléndez assured voters he would be prepared to run against Villafañe or Román in the primaries. He has verbalized his support for Pedro Pierluisi’s gubernatorial candidacy, but it has not been confirmed if he received his endorsement for resident commissioner. 

William Villafañe has also thrown his hat in the race and is focusing on decolonization through the statehood of Puerto Rico. Piersulisi has not endorsed a specific candidate. 

These three candidates will face off in the primaries.



Lahari Lingam

Lahari Lingam

Lahari Lingam is a sophomore at the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York. Lahari has a strong passion for politics and government and hopes to have a career in a related field. Lahari loves history and is on the Mock Trial team at her school. In her free time, Lahari loves to weightlift, read, spend time with friends and family, and cook. She is a Political Affairs Intern Correspondent at Pasquines.


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