Pedro Pierluisi, an attorney who previously worked as Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner in Washington D.C. during two terms, is set to replace RicardoRosselló as Governor of Puerto Rico after accepting the nomination to become secretary of State.
“I am available for the confirmation process as our Constitution requires, giving the highest amount of deference to out Legislative Assembly to provide its advice and consent,” said Pierluisi earlier today, less than an hour after outgoing governor Rosselló announced through a Twitter post that he was officially nominating Pierluisi for the position.
Rosselló —who resigned last Thursday after several weeks of scandals, corruption allegations and massive protests against him— also called for a special session at the Puerto Rico Legislature tomorrow to begin Pierluisi’s confirmation process.
If confirmed, Pierluisi would become the next governor of the commonwealth once Rosselló leaves the position this Friday at 5pm.
“Puerto Rico is living through unprecedented times, and we all have to do our part to forge ahead,” said Pierluisi in a written statement. “I have always seen public service as a responsibility, and today I want to step forward for the good of my country.”
The attorney also stressed the importance of reestablishing the trust of federal authorities and Congress members, as well as rekindle a productive relationship with the U.S. territory’s Fiscal Oversight Board “based solely on what is good for Puerto Rico and help bring about the end of (the board’s) existence.”
Pierluisi ran for Puerto Rico Governor in 2016, but lost in the New Progressive Party (NPP) primaries against Rosselló by 10,704 votes. Before that, he was Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner, meaning the island’s sole non-voting member of Congress, for eight years (2009 to 2016), being elected for the role in two straight elections (2008 and 2012). He also worked as secretary of Justice during the first term of then-Governor Pedro Rosselló, Ricardo’s father, from 1993 to 1996.
Since losing the NPP primary, Pierluisi worked at O’Neill & Borges, a law firm that assists the Fiscal Oversight Board in the commonwealth government’s bankruptcy process. According to the O’Neill & Borges website, Pierluisi has taken a leave of absence from the firm since yesterday.
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