For months there was speculation that González might challenge Pierluisi. But since last week, when she announced that she is expecting twins with her husband, there has been some uncertainty about her future plans.
Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner, Jenniffer González, announced on Wednesday that she plans to run to be the New Progressive Party’s candidate for governor of Puerto Rico in the 2024 elections.
Now she will face Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, who is of the same party, in next year’s primaries, in what is expected to be a heated event.
González’s announcement, which was broadcast on Puerto Rico’s news channels Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., made it clear that she will not go easy on her opponent.
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“The truth is that Puerto Rico is on the wrong path today. As resident commissioner I have sought the largest amount of federal funds in the history of Puerto Rico and no one can debate that, those are the facts. I have brought congressmen and federal government officials to the island to convince them that we need tools and resources and we have achieved it,” González said adding, “Today there is a real possibility that much of those funds could be lost because they have not even been spent. The government today enjoys great economic prosperity and yet that effect has not been reflected in your bank account, which seems to get smaller and smaller every day.”
The resident commissioner also criticized the reconstruction and permits process, and the shortage of doctors on the island. She distanced herself from the position of Pierluisi, who insists that the island does not have a health crisis, despite the fact that there is a shortage of specialist doctors, and hospitals are closing. She also criticized LUMA Energy’s contract.
“LUMA has been a great disappointment for Puerto Rico and I reiterate it. Today we only talk about service interruptions and how much the electricity will increase. I raised the funds to rebuild the electrical system, and six years later we have seen nothing. Leadership is required to recognize mistakes and correct them immediately,” she said.
For months there was speculation that González might challenge Pierluisi. But since last week, when she announced that she is expecting twins with her husband, José Yovin Vargas, there has been some uncertainty about her future plans.
In the announcement, González said that she comes from a family of government employees, that she is a product of public school, and that she has faced “challenges and challenges” throughout her life.
“From the moment I decided to aspire to public service, I have faced the voices that continually told me ‘you are not going to make it, you are young, you are a woman, you are chubby, you should not aspire, they will not support you, you should wait’… Because those are the voices of stagnation, failure and conformism. Those are the voices of the elites, who always want to impose themselves,” she said.
Pierluisi is expected to announce his official intention to run for reelection in four days.