• The Star Staff

Ferrer deflects talk of seeking House speakership

By The Star Staff

Newly elected Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Rep. Héctor Ferrer, who received the most votes in Tuesday’s at-large House of Representatives race, does not have plans to become House speaker, arguing that such a move would be out of line at this time.

In an interview with the Star, the freshman lawmaker-elect appeared eager to take over the position in a new House of Representatives in which the PDP appears to have a very slim majority and which includes minority lawmakers from emerging parties such as the Citizens Victory Movement and the conservative Dignity Project.

“The people spoke clearly. We must work together,” he said. “While I have my own proposals, I now have to see where we agree and where do we not agree.”

Ferrer, who is the son of the late former PDP Rep. Héctor Ferrer, a former PDP president who died of cancer in 2018, said that besides an anti-corruption package, he wants to focus on ongoing problems in the areas of education and health.

One of the things he wants to do is legislate for a salary hike for teachers, who “are the worst paid public workers.” In the area of health, he would like to draft legislation that could result in a cut in medicine prices.

In Tuesday’s general election, voters also voted in a “Yes or No” statehood plebiscite in which the “yes” received a majority vote. Asked if the island’s political status was going to be an issue this term, Ferrer said it was up to the United States.

In response to a question, Ferrer said he believes the commonwealth status can be enhanced but did not say if he supported a sovereign commonwealth.

At press time, Ferrer had 11.68 percent of the votes in the at-large representatives race.