SAN JUAN – The New Progressive Party’s candidate for Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner in Washington, Jennifer Gonzalez, having won the election on Tuesday, will be the first woman to represent the island as a non-voting member in the U.S. Congress.
According to figures from the Puerto Rico elections commission, Gonzalez, who belongs to the party of Governor-elect Ricardo Rossello, received 660,870 votes or 48.82 percent.
She is the president of the island’s Republican Party and former head of the local House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the candidate of the governing Popular Democratic Party, Hector Ferrer, received 639,464 votes, or 47.24 percent.
Gonzalez told reporters, with Rossello standing nearby, that she has been a consensus leader and will continue to be.
Rossello is the son of former Puerto Rican Gov. Pedro Rossello.
Almost 2.9 million Puerto Ricans were eligible to vote in the election on Tuesday, also selecting members of the U.S. commonwealth’s lower house.
The island has been going through a serious economic crisis and has an outstanding government debt of some $72 billion.