Delgado Altieri behind in gubernatorial race, but not by much
By The Star Staff
While initial results showed Popular Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Charlie Delgado Altieri lagging behind New Progressive Party candidate Pedro Pierluisi by 11 percent of the vote, the gap had begun to shrink and at press time Delgado Altieri was behind by less than 1.5 percent.
However, former Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vilá was expected to lose the resident commissioner race at press time to current Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón, who is now expected to run for governor in the next election. At 8 p.m., some 220,000 advanced ballots, or early ballots, had yet to be counted and there were over a million votes that had yet to be counted.
The PDP won in the city of Ponce and at 8:57 p.m. NPP Mayor María “Mayita” Meléndez conceded the defeat early in the night and congratulated Luis Irizarry Pabón.
“I am proud of the work that we did in Ponce for 12 years but the people made a decision in a democracy and I accept it,” she said. The PDP was also slated to win mayorships in the towns of Aguada and Añasco.
However, the PDP lost the city of San Juan to Miguel Romero of the NPP by a wide margin as well as the mayoral race in Guayanilla, where Mayor Nelson Torres Yordán conceded defeat. The PDP was also slated to lose San Germán, which is headed by Isidro Negrón, and the municipality of Corozal, whose mayor is Sergio Torres. Lajas Mayor Marcos Turin also conceded defeat to his NPP opponent.
Delgado Altieri campaign manager Cirilo Tirado urged supporters to stay on at the polling stations as he said Delgado Altieri would be moving ahead.
“We have received calls that there are still people in the polling stations, that there are lines outside the voting centers, and we want to tell the people and the country that the schools will be receiving each and every one of the voters,” he said.
Former electoral commissioner Héctor Luis Acevedo said it was too early to determine who won the gubernatorial race and that it was a mistake to say that there was a tendency or trend.
At 9:21 p.m., Tirado said the difference in the gap was 1.37%. “There are still one million votes to be counted,” he said.
The election was atypical from the beginning. The State Elections Commission system, designed by Microsoft, collapsed.
The STAR visited several voting polling stations in Carolina and at the closing of the polls, some voting places have already completed their work but in others, there were long lines. However, officials said that once in the voting poll, everyone was allowed to vote.
Francisco Gonzalez, a resident from Villa Carolina, said he arrived to vote in the morning but the lines were so long that he went back to his house and then opted to vote later in the day to avoid the crowds.
“When I saw the long line, I said to myself I will be back later,” he said.
Ana Cruz, a voter who voted at the Francisco Matias Lugo School, said she wanted to vote because she wanted to get corrupt politicians out. “I don’t care if I have to make a long line.