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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Pierluisi: González Colón ‘filled an alley’ for her campaign launch

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

New Progressive Party (NPP) President Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday that his gubernatorial primary challenger Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón “filled an alley” in Bayamón during her campaign announcement last Sunday.

“We’re talking thousands against hundreds,” the governor said in a radio interview with NotiUno. “I mean, it’s a no-brainer. That is an alley and the alley was filled.”

The governor compared the place where González Colón launched her campaign, in front of the José Celso Barbosa House Museum, with the Dr. Pedro Rosselló González Puerto Rico Convention Center in Isla Grande, where he launched his campaign for reelection.

“There were the three floors of the Convention Center, but I’ll leave that to others to say, but it’s obvious,” Pierluisi said. “The difference is that once you get on social media, you see my activities everywhere I go. I think there were more people in Trujillo Alto in the party that I held there, than what I saw there, in Bayamón. I mean, everywhere I go -- the day before was in the mountains -- the amount of people who are supporting my candidacy is excellent.”

Pierluisi said on the previous day that those among the leadership of his party that do not support him for re-election have personal reasons for not doing so.

“It’s just that they are very few, they don’t have a major impact and they are personal reasons,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “I don’t want to get into that, but some of those endorsements, some of them are for personal reasons … but I respect it. Hey, it’s practically impossible for you to win unanimous support. The [support] I have breaks records, but obviously it’s not unanimous. And I recognize that and I’m going to respect that.”

Pierluisi was referring to the mayors and representatives who are supporting González Colón in the gubernatorial primary. Among the reasons they give for their endorsement is that the NPP needs a person who can ensure victory in the 2024 elections. Three former mayors -- Jaime Barlucea Maldonado (Adjuntas), Víctor Figueroa Orozco (San Lorenzo) and Ángel “Papo” García de Jesús (Yabucoa) -- joined the list of González Colón supporters on Tuesday.

“There are so few leaders in the party who are saying things like the ones you just mentioned, there are so few …” the governor said. “It’s basically 29 mayors out of 36 who are identified with my party, who openly support me for re-election. In the case of the House of Representatives, you’re basically talking about 90 percent, more than 85 percent. In the case of the Senate, 100 percent. In other words, the difference is stark. So that’s why they never see me as overconfident, but very sure that I’m going to prevail. Because the support I have is really unprecedented heading into a primary.”

Pierluisi insisted on the need for the continuity that a second four-year term would provide.

“There’s still a lot to be done and that’s largely why I’m running for reelection, because that continuity, that stability that comes with an eight-year government is going to be very good for Puerto Rico,” he said. “We don’t want to go backward, we don’t want interruption here, we want that progress to continue to happen, that reconstruction that was paralyzed when my administration began and now is increasingly continuing. And that social justice that we have tried to give to the people of Puerto Rico to continue. That is important; this is not the time at the level of the central government, this is not the time to change. This is the time to continue.”

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