• The San Juan Daily Star

In NPP special votes, Geigel elected mayor in Humacao; recount required in Aguas Buenas

Humacao mayor-elect Julio Geigel

By John McPhaul

Industrial engineer Julio Geigel became the mayor of Humacao, while Karina Nieves Serrano led the field in Aguas Buenas -- in a race that will require a recount -- in the special New Progressive Party (NPP) election held Sunday to fill the two vacancies left by former mayors accused of corruption at the federal level.

The Humacao race initially appeared headed for a recount as well, but NPP Electoral Commissioner Edwin Mundo discounted the possibility late in the day.

In Humacao, Geigel obtained 1,814 votes, followed by Alejandro Martínez with 1,688. Nieves Serrano, meanwhile, obtained 1,126 votes in Aguas Buenas and former mayor Carlos “Cidrita” Aponte Silva received 1,068 votes.

Geigel told the press at his polling station that he was confident of victory and further that his principal goal as mayor would be to “recover the confidence of the people.”

“So that greater transparency exists in the processes related to investment in projects and the adjudication of contracts for the collection of debris and residential garbage, and for better roads, among other things, it is vital to make adjustments in the way these projects are adjudicated,” Geigel said.

Nearly 4,200 people participated in the special election in Humacao, voting for a slate of six candidates.

In Aguas Buenas, where five candidates were running, the difference of 58 votes between Nieves Serrano, the candidate backed by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, will prompt a recount that begins at 8:30 a.m. today.

Both new mayors will replace those accused at the federal level of corruption: Javier García Pérez from Humacao and Reynaldo Vargas from Aguas Buenas.

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