Marco Rubio wins GOP primary in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida won Puerto Rico's Republican presidential primary election Sunday, with supporters saying he would help lift the island out of its long economic slump.

See Full Article

Early returns showed Rubio with 19,224 votes, followed by Donald Trump at 3,533 and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 2,233 with a little more than half the island's voting centres reporting.

"The numbers are overwhelming," said local Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez, chairwoman of Puerto Rico's Republican Party. "This primary in Puerto Rico ... will demonstrate that the Hispanic vote is important."

With Rubio holding 72 per cent of the early vote, he seemed likely to finish with more than half and get all 20 delegates determined by the primary. If no one finished with more than 50 per cent, the 20 delegates would be divided proportionately among candidates who received at least 20 per cent. The territory's three super-delegates have committed to Rubio.

Residents of the U.S. island, which is struggling through a decade-long economic stagnation, cannot vote in the general election in November but can take part in the party primaries.

Orlando Gomez, a retiree whose two sons recently moved to the U.S. to seek jobs, said he participated in the primary because of concerns over the island's economy. He voted for Rubio.

"He understands Latinos because he is Latino," Gomez said. "And he can bring us closer to statehood."

Party officials estimated more than 30,000 people cast ballots Sunday. Officials said votes cast Friday by some 6,000 inmates would not be available until Wednesday.

Puerto Rico is one of the few U.S. jurisdictions that allow inmates to vote. The only other people allowed to submit absentee ballots in the territory were military members, but party officials said they did not yet know how many of those had been cast.

Any registered voter could take part, but only if they signed a document of affiliation with the Republican Party moments before casting a ballot.

Voters said in interviews that they want a U.S. president who will help Puerto Rico emerge from a decade of recession and a debt crisis that threatens basic government services.

"We need a radical change," Richard Suarez said as he waited to cast a ballot for Rubio in Guaynabo, a city in the San Juan metropolitan area. "Otherwise, we'll be stuck in the same situation and will have to keep asking the U.S. government for favours."

The island's economic woes affected the election itself. Edwin Mundo, electoral commissioner for Puerto Rico's Republican Party, said budget cuts forced it to reduce the number of polling places to 110 from more than 3,000 in 2012, dramatically reducing turnout.

No candidate has had a major presence in Puerto Rico this campaign, though Rubio visited the island Saturday for the second time in seven months. There have been no publicly released polls.

Jose Fuentes Agostini, Rubio's campaign president in Puerto Rico, said the senator's visits made a difference.

"This is a great victory," he said. "It is here in Puerto Rico that we're going to change the course of this presidential election for the entire nation."

Sonia Quintero, a retiree, praised Rubio for his visits and said she voted for him.

"He knows where we are and who we are and that's why he can help us," she said.

Politics in Puerto Rico generally revolves around the island's relationship to the U.S. One major party favours statehood and the other wants to maintain the current semi-autonomous commonwealth status. A small minority favours independence. The pro-statehood party has traditionally attracted Republicans and anyone taking part in the primary had to sign a pledge to support the effort to become the 51st state.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Bob Dylan finally says he'll accept Nobel Prize for Literature

    World News CBC News
    American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this month, has now told the Swedish Academy that he will accept the prize. The notoriously media-shy Dylan had not made any comment on the $900,000 US prize, despite repeated attempts by award-givers the Swedish Academy to contact him since it named him as the winner on Oct. Source
  • Jim Prentice remembered as statesman and family man at state memorial [Photos] [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A state memorial service will be held in Calgary today for former Alberta premier Jim Prentice, who was killed in a plane crash earlier this month in British Columbia. We will be livestreaming the event here. It is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Source
  • Deadly highway overpass collapse in Milan, Italy [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    A car is stopped just where an overpass collapsed when a heavy truck, seen on the road below, was travelling on it, between Milan and Lecco, northern Italy, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. (Fabrizio Cusa/ANSA via AP) Source
  • Overcharged CIBC investment clients to get $73M in compensation

    Canada News CBC News
    CIBC investment dealers will pay more than $73 million to compensate clients who were inadvertently overcharged fees, Ontario's securities regulator says. Under the terms of a no-contest settlement approved Friday, the Ontario Securities Commission said it has found no evidence of dishonest conduct by CIBC World Markets Inc. Source
  • Brian Mulroney urges 'prudence' on carbon price decision

    Canada News CBC News
    The man once voted Canada's "greenest" prime minister says there's a potential danger for this country to force a price on carbon if the United States doesn't follow suit. "We know that as soon as we render ourselves uncompetitive and our neighbours ready to pounce, then we're in difficulty at home," Brian Mulroney told host Chris Hall on CBC Radio's The House, after announcing plans for a new institute and hall named in his honour at St. Source
  • U.S. election explained: Americans vote for a lot more than just the president on Nov. 8

    World News CBC News
    When Americans head to their local polling stations on Nov. 8, they won't only be choosing the candidate they want as their next president, they''ll also be voting for a whole lot more. Known as "down ballot" races, election day will also usher in new members of Congress, 12 state governors, as well as state and local officials and judges in some jurisdictions. Source
  • More than the White House: Everything else on the Nov. 8 ballot, explained

    World News CBC News
    When Americans head to their local polling stations on Nov. 8, they won't only be choosing the candidate they want as their next president, they''ll also be voting for a whole lot more. Known as "down ballot" races, election day will also usher in new members of Congress, 12 state governors, as well as state and local officials and judges in some jurisdictions. Source
  • Teen pleads guilty in La Loche, Sask., school shooting

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — The teen accused in the La Loche, Sask., school shooting pleaded guilty to murdering two teen brothers, a teacher’s aide and a teacher. The accused, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because he was 17 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder in the Jan. Source
  • Edmonton homeless man returns 96-year-old man's lost wallet: police

    Canada News CTV News
    Edmonton police are commending a homeless man for restoring a senior's faith in humanity. Police say two constables were driving in the city's northeast when they were flagged down by a street person. The man told them he had been waiting for police to drive by, so that he could turn in a wallet he found earlier in an alley. Source
  • 'Not a safe place to be': Pipeline protesters burn vehicles, set up roadblock

    World News Toronto Sun
    CANNON BALL, N.D. - Protesters ousted from private land where they tried to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline burned vehicles and built roadblocks along a North Dakota state highway where they faced off Friday with authorities. Source