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2020 Puerto Rico Elections Results: A Vote for Divided Government

November 13, 2020

On November 3, 2020, the Puerto Rico electorate went to the polls to elect all officeholders for the next four years in what turned out to be the island’s most diverse election to date.

This year’s process included the election of the new governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Resident Commissioner before the United States Congress.  It also allowed voters the opportunity to elect all members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as all mayors and their corresponding municipal legislators.

The following is a summary of the election results:

Governorship

With 33% of all votes, Pedro Pierluisi, representing the New Progressive Party (NPP) was elected Governor edging the other leading candidate, Carlos Delgado Altieri of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) by approximately 17,000 votes or 1.37%. The remaining 35% of the votes were distributed among other candidates. At this moment, 100% of the electoral colleges have already been counted and the State Elections Commission is undergoing its law-mandated general vote scrutiny of all results.

In accordance with Act No. 197-2002 (1 L.P.R.A. §458-477), officially known as the “Government Transition Process Act”, no later than four days after the Election, Governor-Elect Pierluisi will be selecting the members of his Transition Committee, which will work alongside the Outgoing Transition Committee in preparing and submitting the corresponding Transition Report, no later than December 31st of this year. Governor-Elect Pierluisi has chosen Bayamón Mayor, Ramón Luis Rivera, as the Chairman of his Transition Committee announced this week.

Resident Commissioner

With 40.85% of the vote, current Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González (NPP) was re-elected, surpassing former Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vila by over 105,000 votes, with a margin of victory of 8.8%. At this moment, 100% of the electoral colleges have been counted.

It is noteworthy to point out that the Resident Commissioner is also the Chair of the Republican Party of Puerto Rico, and due to her affiliation, she will be a member of the House Republican Conference in the United States House of Representatives.

Senate

With 100% of all electoral colleges reporting, but certain senate races still under recount rules, it is safe to assume that the Senate of Puerto Rico will be changing hands from its current control by the NPP, to the likely following composition:

  • 13 PDP (Including 2 At-Large Senators)
  • 9 NPP (Including 4 At-Large Senators)
  • 2 Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana
  • 1 Puerto Rico Independence Party
  • 1 Proyecto Dignidad
  • 1 Independent Senator


Senator Juan Luis Dalmau will be the incoming Senate President.

House of Representatives

With 100% of all electoral colleges reporting, but with just a few districts in mandatory recounts, the House of Representatives will also be changing hands from its current control by the NPP, to the likely following composition:

  • 26 PPD (including 2 At-Large)
  • 21 NPP (including 5 At-Large)
  • 2 Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana
  • 1 Proyecto Dignidad
  • 1 PIP


Rafael (Tatito) Hernández Montañez was elected Speaker in a caucus held this week.

Mayors

Over 20 Municipalities will ultimately experience changes in administration from one party to another.  We wish to highlight the following:

  • San Juan (from PDP to NPP)
  • Ponce (from NPP to PDP)
  • Aguadilla (from NPP to PDP)
  • Humacao (from PDP to NPP)
  • Arecibo (from PNP to PDP)

Mayors from the cities of Bayamón (NPP), Carolina (PDP) and Caguas (PDP) were successfully re-elected.

There are still ongoing recounts in three municipalites; so far the PDP has won 39 municipalites and the NPP 36.

Statehood Plebiscite

The November 3rd election afforded residents of Puerto Rico the opportunity to express their preference as to the political status issue.  The question posed to the electorate was a simple Yes or No’ as to whether Puerto Rico should become a state of the Union. The ‘Yes’ preference won with 52.34% over the ‘No’ preference, which gathered 47.55% of all votes.

The content of this McV Alert has been prepared for information purposes only. It is not intended as, and does not constitute, either legal advice or solicitation of any prospective client. An attorney-client relationship with McConnell Valdés LLC cannot be formed by reading or responding to this McV Alert. Such a relationship may be formed only by express agreement with McConnell Valdés LLC.

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