Pesquera’s Remarks about González Set Off Firestorm in NPP
SAN JUAN—The New Progressive Party’s (NPP) pre-candidate for Resident Commissioner in Washington, Carlos Pesquera, said some controversial remarks on Tuesday about his rival for the NPP resident commissioner ballot, Jennifer González, cataloguing her as a “lazy” person who “doesn’t know English” and “is capable of betraying those close to her.”
As expected, Pesquera’s comments brought on a wave of reactions that further signals a deepening internal divide within the pro-statehood party, specifically between the camps of the two NPP pre-candidates for Puerto Rico governor: current Resident Commissioner in Washington and President of the NPP, Pedro Pierluisi, and political upstart Ricardo Rosselló.
Pesquera, an ex-secretary of the Department of Transportation and Public Works and a former NPP gubernatorial candidate in the 2000 general elections, is Pierluisi’s running mate for the resident commissioner spot, while González, a Minority Leader at the House as well as Vice-President of the NPP, is Rosselló’s running mate.
Following Pesquera’s remarks, Roselló, who is the son of former Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Rosselló, demanded that Pierluisi impart discipline among his followers and condemn “personal attacks.” He noted that such attacks only help to fragment the party, and that “after the primaries on June 5, every statehooder must stand together.”
Meanwhile, NPP Rep. María Milagros Charbonier, who supports Rosselló, called for Pesquera’s resignation during a Tuesday morning radio interview, calling his remarks “chauvinistic and disrespectful.” Leo Díaz, the NPP’s mayoral candidate for San Juan, also heavily criticized Pierluisi’s running mate.