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Puerto Rican general election, 2008


Puerto Rican general election, 2008

Puerto Rican general election, 2008

November 4, 2008

Nominee Luis Fortuño Aníbal Acevedo Vilá
Party New Progressive Popular Democratic
Popular vote 1,025,965 801,071
Percentage 52.8% 41.3%

Election results map. Blue denotes municipalities won by Fortuño, and Red denotes those won by Acevedo Vilá.

Governor before election

Aníbal Acevedo Vilá
Popular Democratic

Elected Governor

Luis Fortuño
New Progressive

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico general election of 2008 were held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 to elect the officials of the Puerto Rican government that would serve for the next four years, most notably the Governor of Puerto Rico.

The election was won by incumbent Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuño (from the New Progressive Party), who defeated the incumbent Governor, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá (from the Popular Democratic Party). Fortuño received 1,025,965 votes, and Acevedo Vilá 801,071. Also, most of the other positions were won by the candidates of the PNP, who ended up with a majority of seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The elections occurred after one term of what was called "shared government", as a result of the 2004 elections. Because of this, the island had a Governor from one party (Acevedo Vilá), while the opposing party held a majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The struggles faced by the opposing parties attempts at cooperation, mixed with the global economic crisis, paved the campaign for this elections. Also, Acevedo Vilá was facing criminal accusations at the time.[1]

Fortuño was sworn in as Governor of Puerto Rico on January 2, 2009.


The 2008 Puerto Rican election was historic because:

  • it was the first time in more than 20 years that a new party (PPR) joined the three traditional parties in the election.
  • it was the first time in Puerto Rican political history that one of the candidates (Anibal Acevedo Vilá) faced federal criminal charges.
  • supporters of former Governor write-in campaign on his behalf after he lost the party primary against Luis Fortuño.


Before the election year, the Constitution of Puerto Rico provides for any qualified person to present their candidacy for a specific position. If two or more candidates from the same party present their candidacy for the same position, and they can't reach an agreement within the party, a primary election is held. This election is held within the inscribed members of each party, to select which of the candidates will represent the party in the general election.

Both of the main parties: New Progressive Party (PNP) and Popular Democratic Party (PPD), held primaries for several positions on March 9, 2008. The PNP primary was more notable for having two candidates for the position of Governor of Puerto Rico.

New Progressive Party (PNP)

The primaries were held on March 9, 2008. In it, Fortuño comfortably defeated Rosselló to win the spot for Governor at the 2008 elections.[2] Also, Pedro Pierluisi defeated Charlie Rodríguez and Miriam Ramírez de Ferrer with 60% of the votes to win the spot for Resident Commissioner.[3]

Popular Democratic Party (PPD)

The primaries were held on March 9, 2008 to determine several candidates for the Senate, House of Representatives, and others. Among the most notable outcomes, former Secretary of Consumer Affairs Alejandro García Padilla received the most votes for the Senate, despite being his first time in an election.

Also, in the primaries for Mayor of Ponce, incumbent Francisco Zayas Seijo narrowly beat Carlos Jirau Vélez, for less than 50 votes.[4]

Final candidates


After the primaries, the official candidates for Governor of Puerto Rico were set. The incumbent Governor, Anibal Acevedo Vilá, Popular Democratic Party (PPD) faced the following candidates for the Governorship:

Resident Commissioner

The United States House of Representatives elections in Puerto Rico, 2008 was won by Pedro Pierluisi, New Progressive Party (PNP). He ran against:

Election Results


Candidate Political party Popular vote Percentage
Luis Fortuño PNP 1,025,965 52.77%
Aníbal Acevedo Vilá PPD 801,071 41.29%
Rogelio Figueroa PPR 53,693 2.76%
Edwin Irizarry Mora PIP 39,590 2.04%
Pedro Rossello Write-In 13,215 0.64%
Others 8,170 0.49%

Resident Commissioner

Candidate Political party Popular vote Percentage
Pedro Pierluisi PNP 1,010,304 52.68%
Alfredo Salazar PPD 810,111 42.30%
Carlos Alberto Velazquez PPR 44,126 2.39%
Jessica Martinez Birriel PIP 37,865 1.95%
Others 11,889 0.67%

Senate of Puerto Rico

Category PPD PNP PIP PPR Sub-total
By district 0 16 0 0 16
By accumulation 5 6 0 0 11
Total 5 22 0 0 27
Percentage 18.51% 81.48% 0% 0% 100.0%

Puerto Rico House of Representatives

Category PPD PNP PIP PPR Sub-total
By district 9 31 0 0 40
By accumulation 5 6 0 0 11
Total 14 37 0 0 51
Percentage 27.45% 72.55% 0% 0%


30 48 0 0 78


  1. "2008 General Elections Results". State Commission of Elections of Puerto Rico. San Juan, Puerto Rico. November 4, 2008.
  1. ^ El impacto electoral de Barbadoro on El Nuevo Día; Colón Dávila, Javier
  2. ^ Primarias 2008: Escrutinio General - Gobernador on CEEPUR
  3. ^ Primarias 2008: Escrutinio General - Comisionado Residente on CEEPUR
  4. ^ Primarias 2008: Escrutinio General - Alcaldes on CEEPUR

External links

  • Washington Post: Puerto Rican Governor Plans to Seek Reelection
  • UPI: Puerto Rico approves Acevedo candidacy
  • New York Daily News: Luis Fortuño wins pro-statehood primary in Puerto Rico
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