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Congrats roll in to Guaynabo mayor-elect O’Neill Rosa

Guaynabo mayor-elect Edward O’Neill Rosa

By John McPhaul

Congratulations from his fellow New Progressive Party (NPP) members greeted Guaynabo mayor-elect Edward O’Neill Rosa following his electoral victory Saturday, while the mayor-elect said Popular Democratic Party (PDP) leaders who said the victory will lead to an eventual PDP victory in Guaynabo for a four-year term in the next general elections were dreaming.

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, the NPP president, congratulated O’Neill Rosa on Saturday.

“I congratulate the new mayor of Guaynabo, Edward O’Neill! We count on you to do a great job and strive to give all Guaynabeños the quality of life they deserve,” the governor said on his Twitter account. “We are going to work together to continue rebuilding Puerto Rico and moving toward progress.”

Mayors Federation President Gabriel Hernández Rodríguez welcomed O’Neill Rosa.

The Mayors Federation groups NPP mayors on the island.

“Guaynabo elected Edward O’Neill Rosa as its mayor for the remainder of this four-year term, so as president of the Puerto Rico Mayors Federation we congratulate him on his victory and welcome him to our organization,” Hernández Rodríguez said. “We are confident that under his mandate the needs of each one of the citizens of Guaynabo will be well attended and that his experience in public service will give him the necessary tools to manage the municipality well. Starting today, the mayor will have the support of the entire Federation membership and we invite him to be an active part of the decision-making and discussions that we will have before our organization. Many congratulations and success in his assignment.”

Meanwhile, the NPP vice president and spokesman for the party’s minority in the island House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Núñez, anticipated that he will meet with O’Neill Rosa in the spirit of collaboration.

“The NPP delegation in the House of Representatives places great emphasis on direct communication with the mayors in the search for solutions to the needs of the 78 municipalities of the island,” Méndez Núñez said. “We are ready to support the new mayor of Guaynabo, Edward O’Neill, in the development of legislation that positively impacts the municipality.”

O’Neill Rosa thanked the electorate of Guaynabo on Saturday.

“My first words of thanks go to the Guaynabeños who have placed the trust of their vote in me,” he said in a written statement. “Your support is deeply appreciated. Know that I will not fail you and I will work with all the strength of my heart to restore the luster to Guaynabo.”

In response to remarks that with his victory the PDP has the opportunity to win the Guaynabo mayor’s seat in elections next year, O’Neill Rosa said: “That was said by [former governor] Aníbal Acevedo Vilá on television. I’m going to make him look bad.”

“I am a working man who comes to provide services as they should be provided,” the mayor-elect said at a press conference Saturday. “The party has a new face, with new ideas.”

According to the numbers of the State Elections Commission, 11,605 people voted in the special election. O’Neill Rosa obtained 7,153 votes (61.64 percent), Julio “Pipe” Abreu Sáez 2,232 votes (19.23 percent), Dana Miró Medina 1,744 votes (15.03 percent), and Ricardo Aponte Martínez 444 votes (3.83 percent). Votes by direct nomination (presumed to belong to Rep. Jorge Navarro Suárez) numbered 251 and Marigdalia Ramírez Fort received 32 votes. There were 235 blank ballots, two challenged and 12 protested.

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