Pierluisi becomes NPP’s gubernatorial candidate after 2nd round of primary
By Pedro Correa Henry
Special to The Star
After a heated political fight inside the New Progressive Party (NPP), Pedro Pierluisi became the gubernatorial candidate with 58 percent of the votes after a second round of voting in the primary elections on Sunday.
After winning a case in the Puerto Rico Supreme Court that ruled in favor of his request to continue the primary elections that were interrupted due to a lack of ballots at voting places and validated votes cast by citizens during the electoral event, the former resident commissioner obtained the ticket for the general elections. Pierluisi, during his victory speech, expressed his gratitude to those who supported him through their votes.
“I accept this responsibility as the next governor,” he said. “The ideal of statehood, that’s what has moved me all my life, and at every moment I have served Puerto Rico with such respect and with the will to help others. I will fight for equality. I am committed to accomplishing that purpose of unity to bring our people together, after Hurricane Maria, after the earthquakes, after the pandemic, I want to bring equality to everyone,” Pierluisi said. “This is a party that believes in social equality, this is a party that believes in justice. We have to move for this ideal. As American citizens, we have to fight for equality.”
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives Carlos “Johnny” Méndez said Pierluisi’s victory shows that the NPP is a “vibrant party that recognizes the leaders that fight for the ideal of statehood.”
“Definitely, we have a great candidate who represents an opportunity for the NPP to revalidate. We worked so hard to get this victory, but this is not an individual victory, it’s a victory for the NPP,” Méndez said. “To Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced and her team, I pay my respects, and I ask you to come and unite to fight for equality through the ideal of statehood.”
Meanwhile, Vázquez said she recognized the advantage that Pierluisi had at the primary elections and confirmed that, as the current governor and as a supporter of statehood, she will fight for equality. Nonetheless, she said, unlike her opponent, her campaign was never meant to harm anyone’s reputation as she considered that both fight for a better well being for Puerto Ricans.
“I’ll keep working for equality, which remains the standard for my ideas. Puerto Rican people, you proved to me that there is still hope. To all Puerto Ricans, I said that you were my machinery as you put your trust in me, and I am grateful for your support,” Vázquez said. “As for the negative campaign, which was used to harm my reputation, we never wanted to do that. I will keep fighting as a statehood supporter. I will keep working for you until my last day as governor.”