Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon has declared her intention to run for governor against the incumbent, Pedro Pierluisi. With both candidates coming from the same party, the New Progressive Party (PNP), the contest will be resolved in the primaries next year.
In 2016, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon made history by becoming the first woman to be elected as Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in the United States Congress, She was also the youngest person ever to hold the position. With 48.77% of the vote, she established her popularity, which has continued to the present. As the only representative of Puerto Rico in Congress, she has consistently advocated for statehood and has worked tirelessly to improve the island’s relationship with the federal government.
Pedro Pierluisi served for eight years as Resident Commissioner, and has been Governor of Puerto Rico since 2020. He was chosen by Governor Ricardo Rossello as his successor, and then was elected the following year. He has 35 years of experience as a lawyer.
The two ran together on the PNP ticket in 2020. However, Pierluisi is a Democrat and Gonzalez-Colon is a Republican.
The upcoming election
The PNP represents statehood, and both Gonzalez-Colon and Pierluisi support this status option. Whichever candidate secures the PNP nomination will run against the candidate from the PDP (Commonwealth party) and perhaps a candidate from the allied PIP (Independence Party) and MCV parties.
Gonzales-Colon said, in announcing her run for the governorship, that her focus will be on education, healthcare, and the electrical grid. Pierluisi has not yet announced his candidacy, but is expected to do so soon.
A survey in February found that Gonzalez-Colon would hav e won the PNP primary if it had been held on the day the survey was taken. She received the largest number of votes in 2016 of any candidate in any race. The election is expected to be a heated one.