Héctor Ferrer’s Bid for Resident Commissioner Forces PDP Primary
SAN JUAN – As expected, and dismissing a request from several Popular Democratic Party (PDP) mayors, former Rep. Héctor Ferrer filed his candidacy to run for resident commissioner Wednesday afternoon, thus forcing the party into a primary election months before the 2016 general election.
Only Sen. Ángel Rosa had previously expressed his intention to run for the post, confident that there would be no other candidate.
The PDP senator assured he is not afraid of a primary because, ultimately, “this an elective post and the voters decide.”
The primary between Rosa and Ferrer, a former House Minority Leader and PDP president, will be the third primary for such position since the founding of the PDP 77 years ago. Primary elections for the PDP candidate for resident commissioner were held in 1980 and 1999.
Ferrer, who is undergoing a radiation therapy for his esophageal cancer, assured he feels healthy enough to face the primary and the general election.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and fellow Mayors Carlos Delgado Altieri, from Isabela, and Isidro Negrón, from San Germán, expressed their support after Ferrer’s announcement. Cruz said she has known Ferrer since they both were fellow members of the House of Representatives.
“In politics, there are but a few people who can be considered to be made from one single piece, those who can tell you what they think, those who make room for those who think differently, those who respect differences and don’t use them as an excuse not to work,” Cruz said about Ferrer, for whose ability and integrity she assured she can vouch for.
“He is my friend. He is a man ready to battle the injustices face to face and someone who is going to provide the PDP ballot a proven measure of respect…. Héctor is not pro-sovereignty; nevertheless, his respect for all ideologies within the party makes him a deserving representative of all Populares and the country,” said Cruz.
Delgado Altieri dismissed the possibility a primary election could act against the PPD.
“I think it is always a healthy process [the primary] and if it cannot be done… traditionally within the PDP we have always tried to reach a consensus, more so in matters of such relevance. The people will be the ones to decide. They [primaries] strengthen and fuel PDP followers,” said the Isabela mayor.
Sources close to the process said Ferrer’s announcement came after a meeting between the PDP’s gubernatorial candidate, David Bernier, resident commissioner hopeful Rosa and Ferrer failed to reach an agreement that could prevent the primary.
Meanwhile, Rosa said that “when the interests of more than one person converge on a single post in a political party, the voters enter into the scene and they chose the candidate.”
When Rosa filed his application to run for resident commissioner, he said he counted on the support of 28 PDP mayors.