Ricardo Antonio “Ricky” Rosselló Nevares is the governor-elect of Puerto Rico. Rosselló is the son of former governor Pedro Rosselló, and he is the first son of governor to run for governor of Puerto Rico.
Rosselló was educated at MIT and the University of Michigan. His research focused on stem cell technology, and he worked as a researcher in this subject at Duke University. He led the Puerto Rico Students Association at his college, and served as a delegate to the Democratic Party Convention in 2008 and again in 2012. He worked as a political reporter and analyst and then founded the organization Boricua ¡Ahora Es! This statehood-supporting organization helped launch Rosello’s candidacy for governor.
The main platform of Rossello’s gubernatorial campaign was statehood for Puerto Rico. Rossello understands that statehood is the key to economic improvement for Puerto Rico.
The federal government has already set aside funds for one final referendum. While the White House already declared the 2012 referendum — in which 54% voted to end the current territorial relationship and 61% chose statehood from the options for a new status — a “clear result,” the administration wants to be sure that the last referendum for Puerto Rico is not open to interpretation. The law providing the funds specifies that all the options on the ballot must be approved by the Department of Justice as viable under the U.S. Constitution. It also specifies that there must be enough voter education to be sure that people understand exactly what they are voting for.
This will allow Puerto Rico’s vote to be taken seriously by Congress.
Current Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla promised to hold the referendum in 2016, but has been distracted by economic crises. Governor-elect Rossello says that holding the referendum will be one of his first acts in office.
If the new vote confirms statehood as the choice of the people, there is an act ready in Congress to move Puerto Rico toward statehood by the next presidential election. Rossello has made it clear that this is a priority for his new government.