Luis Fortuno loses re-election bid, concedes win to Popular Democratic Party’s Garcia Padilla.
San Juan — As Fortuño accepts defeat, Puerto Rico prepares for a new governor.
After sticking to claims that he had the lead last night, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño conceded a victory to rival Sen. Alejandro Garcia Padilla in what was a very close election.
With 96 percent of the votes counted, the Popular Democratic Party’s Garcia Padilla had 47.85 percent of the vote, and Fortuño had 47.04 percent.
However, in the resident commissioner race, Garcia Padilla’s ticket partner, Rafael Cox Alomar, did not acquire enough votes to secure a win and head to Washington. Instead, it looks like current Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi is headed to Capitol Hill for a second, four-year term.
Fortuno loses re-election, PPD frustrated with wait
Tuesday night was a long night in Puerto Rico, with Fortuño’ New Progressive Party insisting that they had swept the elections and the State Elections Commission releasing numbers very slowly. The PPD had a lot of frustrated faces, but hundreds of followers stayed outside waiting to hear from Garcia Padilla. Finally, around 3 a.m. and long after the party over at the PNP had ended, Puerto Rico’s governor-elect addressed his very excited supporters, saying they had rescued Puerto Rico and asked for unity.
This will be the first time since the 1960s that there will be a PPD leader in Puerto Rico at the same time that there is a Democrat in the White House. Garcia Padilla is also a Democrat, and when President Barack Obama visited Puerto Rico in 2011, the president invited Garcia Padilla out to an impromptu lunch at a San Juan bakery, causing much buzz on the island. Garcia Padilla also received and greeted the president on one of Obama’s trips to Florida this year.
A controversial plebiscite on status was held on Tuesday as well, where 53.99 percent of voters said they were not satisfied with the island’s current political status, versus 46.1 percent that voted “yes.” In the “non-territorial options” question, the majority of voters opted for statehood. However, hundreds of thousands of voters left that question blank, as the PPD had asked supporters to do.