Many long-serving mayors denied new terms
By John McPhaul
Several mayors, including some who had served for several four-year terms, were defeated in Tuesday’s general elections, according to data from the State Elections Commission (SEC).
The New Progressive Party (NPP) mayor of Ponce, María “Mayita” Meléndez, accepted her defeat after being in office for 12 years. Meléndez urged the new mayor, Dr. Luis Irizarry Pabón, to do a good job “like I did.”
The NPP mayor of Adjuntas, Jaime Barlucea, acknowledged his defeat meanwhile after spending 16 years at the head of the City of the Sleeping Giant.
“I congratulate the new mayor, José Hiram Soto Rivera,” Barlucea said in a message on his social networks.
The 16-year Popular Democratic Party (PDP) mayor of Santa Isabel, Enrique “Quique” Questell Alvarado, was defeated by Rafael “Billy” Burgos Santiago of the NPP, while the PDP mayor of Guayanilla, Nelson Torres Yordán, accepted his defeat against Raúl Rivera of the NPP.
In Arecibo, New Progressive Party Mayor Carlos Molina Rodríguez lost to Carlos Ramírez Irizarry of the PDP, while in Aguadilla, Yanitsia Irizarry Méndez of the NPP lost the election to Julio Roldán Concepción of the PDP.
The mayor of San Lorenzo for the PDP, José “Joe” Román Abreu, who is also the president of the Mayors Association, lost to Jaime Alverio Ramos of the NPP.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Cidra, Javier Carrasquillo (NPP) lost to David Concepción González (PDP) by a difference of 56.65 percent to 36.13 percent.
Another incumbent mayor who went down in defeat was Ernesto Samuel Irizarry Salvá (PDP), who lost his post in Utuado to Jorge “Jorgito” Pérez (NPP).
Vieques mayor Víctor Emeric (PDP),meanwhile, lost to José “Junito” Corcino (NPP).
In Vega Alta, María Vega defeated Mayor Oscar “Can” Santiago Martínez with 48.19 percent of the vote to 46.84 percent for the incumbent.
Virgilio Olivera Olivera of the NPP defeated Mayor Isidro Negrón Irizarry (PDP) to become the new mayor of San Germán. The same thing happened in Cabo Rojo, where Jorge Morales Wiscovitch (NPP) beat incumbent Roberto Ramírez Kurtz (PDP).
Meanwhile, in Maricao, Wilfredo “Juny” Ruiz (PDP) defeated Mayor Gilberto Pérez Valentín (NPP). In Maunabo, Ángel Omar Lafuente Amaro (NPP) bested incumbent Jorge Luis Márquez Pérez (PDP).
Miraidaliz Rosario Pagán (PDP) dethroned Noe Marcano Rivera (NPP) in Naguabo, while Maritza Sánchez Neris achieved 47.52 percent to exceed the 45.45 percent obtained by the mayor of Patillas, Norberto Soto Figueroa.
In Corozal, Luis “Luiggi” García (NPP) beat the mayor of Corozal, Sergio Luis Torres Torres (PDP), by a wide margin. In Añasco, Kabir Solares (NPP) defeated Mayor Jorge Estévez Martínez. In Lares, Fabián Arroyo Rodríguez (PDP) won, 49.02 percent to 47.81 percent, over José Rodríguez Ruiz (NPP), who had been certified as mayor last January.
Another incumbent who acknowledged defeat Tuesday night was Lajas Mayor Marcos “Turín” Irizarry of the PDP, who lost to Jayson “Jay” Martínez (NPP).