Republican Party of Puerto Rico

Republican Party of Puerto Rico

Partido Republicano de Puerto Rico

The History of the Puerto Rico GOP

The roots of the Puerto Rican Republican Party go back to July 4, 1899, when it was founded in the best tradition and purest aspirations for progress and equality; a group of men and women decided to give life to a new instrument of political struggle that gave the Puerto Ricans a deserved place of honor in the United States.

A man of extraordinary talents, sharp vision and great virtues, Dr. José Celso Barbosa undertook the task and with a group of followers developed a manifesto in March, 1899, which contained the basic tenets of the new organization. The Party supported the female vote,  entrepreneurship, universal access to education, and health for the entire population as well as the highest ideological aspiration: statehood.  During his studies at Michigan, Barbosa had witnessed the advantages of life on the mainland, and he wanted to provide those benefits to all the people of Puerto Rico.

The first Party meeting held in San Juan decided to participate in the elections of that year, 1899, to elect mayors and assembly members, gaining a GOP election victory that year and subsequently during the early twentieth century. In those early days, elections were held every two years.

In 1903, the Puerto Rican Republican Party joined the (GOP) National Republican Party, becoming one of the major parties of twentieth century Puerto Rico. For both the modernizing vision of the rural society of the time, and the hopes for equality that have been reborn in new generations over the years, we thank Dr. Barbosa, Martínez Nadal, Don Luis A. Ferré and the men and women who had the vision to establish and defend the ideal, even in difficult time. We recognize this story of triumph, honor and perseverance in this noble and gallant institution that is the Republican Party of Puerto Rico.

Note: We thank Luis Felipe for these historical notes.

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Leadership

Hon. Jenniffer González-Colón , Chairwoman

Ms. Gonzalez-Colón began public service in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, where she served as Speaker of the House for four years and Minority Leader for another four. She is the first woman to serve as Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico. In this role, she serves on Republican Conference House Policy Committee, the Speaker’s Intergovernmental Affairs Task Force, the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Natural Resources, the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute, and the Puerto Rico Economic Growth Caucus.

Hon. Luis Fortuno, National Committeeman

Mr. Fortuño began his career in public service leading the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce. He served as Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico, and as Governor of Puerto Rico. He has held the posts of president of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico, president of the Council of State Governments, and president of the Southern Governors Association.

Zoraida Fonalledas, National Committeewoman

Ms. Fonalledas serves on International Institute for People with Disabilities of Puerto Rico, and has also been a member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. She has been National Committeewoman since 1995, and has been on the Budget, Rules, and Arrangements committees for the Republican National Committee and the RNC Growth & Opportunity Project Commission.