Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vázquez announced Monday she will run in the 2020 general elections.
The announcement ends weeks of speculation about the political plans of Vázquez, who in August became the island’s second unelected governor in seven decades following one of its most turbulent political periods.
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“The people are tired of traditional politicians. I come from the bottom, for 32 years as a prosecutor, as a women’s advocate and as secretary of justice,” Vázquez said.
Vázquez became the U.S. territory’s second female governor after one of the island’s most significant shakeups — millions of Puerto Ricans marched in historic protests calling for the ouster of then-Gov. Ricardo Rosselló after the leaking of hundreds of profanity-laced and derogatory private chat messages between him and administration officials and associates, including lobbyists.
Her candidacy sets off a primary contest with Pedro Pierluisi, the island’s former nonvoting representative in Washington, D.C., who has already announced his candidacy for the pro-statehood, New Progressive Party nomination.
Vázquez said in her announcement that she recognizes she doesn’t have a campaign structure and that she will be the target of “unjustified attacks,” adding she will focus on socioeconomic development, health and women’s rights.
She came into the governorship as the island struggled to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, as well as its ongoing debt crisis.