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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PDP President Ortiz will run for governor

Popular Democratic Party President Jesús Manuel Ortiz González

By The Star Staff

Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President Jesús Manuel Ortiz González announced Monday through social media that he will seek the PDP candidacy for governor and lead his party to victory in November 2024.

“Today, I take a step forward for my country, convinced that those who govern came to power by making promises to the people knowing that they were not going to keep them,” Ortiz González said. “While this happens, the people suffer the most serious consequences -- recovery funds are not used effectively, and anguish from waiting months for a doctor’s appointment, the daily battle with a crumbling electrical system, lack of employment opportunities, the deterioration of essential services, and so many other problems. Those who govern do not understand the urgency of addressing these problems because they have never experienced them. I do not come to make promises, I come to commit to honesty, a commitment to work hard for a better country and never to forget where I come from.”

Ortiz González will compete in the primaries against Sen. Juan Zaragoza Gómez, a former Treasury secretary, who invited Ortiz González on Monday to debates in the island’s 78 municipalities so each could present their government platform.

During his announcement speech, the current at-large representative presented his story and highlighted how the PDP has since its creation fought to promote opportunities for middle-class residents of Puerto Rico.

“I come from a middle-class family, educated in public schools and local universities all my life. I know first-hand, because I lived it, what it is like to have three jobs to support my home and my family from a very young age,” Ortiz González said. “That effort that thousands of Puerto Ricans have to make every day to get ahead is the effort that has allowed me to be here and present myself to the country as a sensitive and down-to-earth alternative.”

Ortiz González has a bachelor’s degree in communications, was a radio journalist, and is a professional relations specialist and lawyer. His experience includes working in the private sector in the media, in public service in the executive branch, and in elective positions in the Legislature and in the PDP.

“Today, I offer the country my life experience, my sensitivity, my youth, and my strength to become the next governor of all of us who live on this island,” he said.

Ortiz González announced that his candidacy will be filed on Dec. 16, 2023 at Ernesto Ramos Antonini Convention Center in Barceloneta.

Later on Monday, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, the president of the New Progressive Party (NPP), said in response to Ortiz González’s announcement, “I welcome you to the ring.”

“Next year will be a campaign year and the race is already being defined,” the governor said in response to questions from the press.

Pierluisi added that the important thing in the campaign will be for all candidates to communicate their ideas for the benefit of voters.

Senate candidate Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz and resident commissioner candidate Pablo José Hernández Rivera, both of the PDP, published messages on their social networks supporting Ortiz González.

“For me, it will be an honor to accompany Jesús Manuel and Pablo José Hernández Rivera in this great challenge of taking our land forward, and from the Senate, I will be part of this great team that will rescue Puerto Rico,” Hernández Ortiz said.

San Juan City Assemblyman Manuel Calderón Cerame, who is running for a seat in the island House of Representatives under the PDP banner, said he identifies with Ortiz González in that both are young parents and wish to leave their children something better.

Meanwhile, Edwin Mundo Ríos, who is working in Pierluisi’s re-election campaign, said the NPP is not losing sleep over Zaragoza or Ortiz.

He said it is a race between a candidate who did not pay tax returns and another who has no support.

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