Outgoing Governor Ricardo Rossello has named Pedro Pierluisi as Secretary of State. If he is confirmed, Pierluisi will be the next governor when Rossello steps down on Friday.
Pedro Pierluisi was Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico in 2009 to 2016, and was previously the territory’s Attorney General. He was noted for his work against violent crime and against corruption.
Like Rossello, Pierluisi is a member of the statehood party on the Island and of the national Democratic party.
An attorney, Pierluisi was born in Puerto Rico and educated in the states, at Tulane University and George Washington University Law School.
During his tenure as Resident Commissioner, Pierluisi fought for statehood, introducing bills for statehood for Puerto Rico.
After eight years as Resident Commissioner, Pierluisi ran against Rossello for the governship, falling behind by just two percentage points.
Rossello was forced to step down as governor by extended protests following the publication of private text conversations containing vulgar language and offensive comments. The Secretary of State at the time had already resigned in the midst of corruption charges. The next in line for the position, Wanda Velazquez, expressed herself unwilling to take on the job. She hoped that Rossello would name a Secretary of State before he left the governor’s office.
While there remains some controversy, Pierluisi is expected to take on the governorship next week.
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