Acting Cataño mayor, passed over by NPP, still wants a shot in special election
By The Star Staff
After being disqualified by the New Progressive Party (NPP) governing board as a candidate in the special election for the Cataño mayor’s seat, acting mayor Gabriel Sicardó Ocasio challenged his disqualification Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the roster of candidates interested in running for Guaynabo mayor, another seat that became vacant after Ángel Pérez Otero was arrested on corruption charges, continues to grow.
Sicardó Ocasio sued the NPP to allow him to apply for the vacancy left by Félix “El Cano” Delgado Montalvo after the latter’s federal accusation of public corruption and subsequent guilty plea. The NPP decided to allow another candidate, Julio Alicea Vasallo, to occupy the seat after concluding that Sicardó Ocasio had been too close to Delgado Montalvo.
“We will continue forward, with our heads held high,” Sicardó Ocasio said through social media. “It is no longer about politicking, it is about our dignity.”
San Juan Superior Court Judge Rebecca de León on Tuesday scheduled a hearing for today in the case.
As a consequence of the NPP decision, the special election in Cataño was left without effect, since the other candidate, Julio Alicea, was going to be certified as the only candidate and then he would proceed to be sworn in.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia defended the decision and revealed that the party’s governing board over which he presides took into consideration “communications” and interviews with the still acting mayor.
“Among the factors that the party can take into consideration when determining whether a candidate can run under the party’s insignia is the career, the track record of the candidate,” Pierluisi said. “That includes positions that he has held, in this case in the municipality. Also everything related to that candidacy.”
Sicardó Ocasio wants the court to order a special election that will allow him to run.
Meanwhile, the list of candidates vying for the Guaynabo mayor’s seat grows longer.
NPP Sen. Carmelo Ríos Santiago has expressed interest in the mayor’s seat.
On Tuesday, Edward O’Neill Rosa, son of the former mayor of Guaynabo, Héctor O’Neill García, announced his intention to fill the vacancy left by Pérez.
“With the humility and genuine desire for work that characterizes me, I make public my aspiration to the mayoralty of Guaynabo, aware of the urgency of unifying a people that yearns for progress and well being,” O’Neill Rosa said in a press release.
He declared that “I am not a career politician, I am a worker who will do my best to ensure that Guaynabeños have the quality of life, security and progress they deserve.”
“I have always been close to them in different facets of my professional and personal life, and I know up close the needs of my people. That closeness to our people is what will guide me in every effort we make.”
O’Neill Rosa’s father left the Guaynabo mayor’s seat amid charges of sexual harrassment.