Jorge Santini

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Jorge Santini Padilla
Jorge Santini.jpg
Santini during his third term as mayor of San Juan.
Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico
In office
January 2, 2001 – January 14, 2013
Preceded by Sila Calderon
Succeeded by Carmen Yulín Cruz
Member of the Puerto Rico Senate from the San Juan district
In office
Personal details
Born (1960-03-11) March 11, 1960 (age 54)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Political party New Progressive Party
Spouse(s) Irma Garriga
Children Odette (b. 1987)
Jorge Andrés (b. 1996)
Amanda (b. 2003)
Alma mater University of Puerto Rico (BA)
Inter American University (JD)
Profession Politician, attorney.

Jorge Santini Padilla " (born March 11, 1960) in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is an Puerto Rican Politician. He served as Mayor of San Juan City from 2001 until 2013.

Early years and studies[edit]

Santini was born on March 11, 1960 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is the third son of Nicolás Santini and Ivonne Padilla. He has three brothers and studied in the public school system of Puerto Rico until graduation in 1978.

Santini received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puerto Rico in 1982 and studied law at Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law until 1987 where he obtained a Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Professional career[edit]

In 1986, he became a partner at the law firm of Miranda Cárdenas & Córdova where he specialized in medical malpractice suits. In 1988 he was accepted as a member of the Puerto Rico Bar Association, American Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association. He also presided the Attorney Association of the Faculty of Law at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.

In 1994, during Pedro Rossello's gubernatorial term, Santini was appointed as his aide in the areas of Health, Social Welfare, and Hiring, as well as serving as the Governor's Legal Aide.

Political career[edit]

Senator: 1997–2001[edit]

In 1996, Santini decided to start a political career under the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico at the 1996 general elections representing the District of San Juan. During that term, he served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mayor of San Juan: 2001–2013[edit]

Santini entered the race for Mayor of San Juan in 1999 and challenged Senate President Charlie Rodriguez in a PNP primary. Rodríguez had been the choice of the party leadership, but Santini prevailed in the primary. He went on to defeat Popular Democratic Party candidate Eduardo Bhatia in the 2000 elections and sought reelection in 2004 defeating Bhatia for a second time.

In 2007, Santini was rumored to be a possible candidate for Governor of Puerto Rico in the event that NPP president and former Governor Pedro Rosselló chose not run against then Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño in 2008.[citation needed] However, Rosselló announced on April 28, 2007 that he would seek the NPP nomination for Governor. Santini then announced on May 13, 2007 that he would seek a third term as Mayor of San Juan in the 2008 elections. He ran unopposed within his party and faced PPD Representative Ferdinand Pérez in the 2008 general elections.

In the 2008 Puerto Rican general election, Santini defeated Ferdinand Pérez (PPD) and Luis Piñero (PIP) for his third term as mayor. He is the longest running popularly-elected Mayor of the city. During this term, he proposed light-rail extension of the heavy-rail Tren Urbano into Old San Juan, the construction of Condado Downtown District and a New Municipal Tower in Rio Piedras . Some of his accomplishments are the first municipal public school system with the School of San Juan The school of Science and The School of Sports. He also built a 28 million dollar world-class natatorium (San Juan Natatorium), and the San Juan's Wildlife Museum (Museo de Vida Silvestre) . He also begun the restoration of Rio Piedras streets, and the restoration of Old San Juan streets. Santini also built new public libraries, new public bicycle tracks, the San Juan's Golf Academy, the renovation of Plaza de la Convalecencia in Rio Piedras, a new transportation terminal in Rio Piedras, San Juan's Ronald Reagan austim-specialized day care, the San Juan's Pet Park (the first pet park in Puerto Rico), the restoration of Campo Rico Avenue and other avenues in San Juan, the restoration of Teatro Tapia (a historical theater), the reconstruction of Plaza de la Barandilla in Old San Juan, and the development of Casa Cuna(a shelter for abandoned and abused children). Santini also brought more services and police stations including a helicopter for the city's safety, and the neighborhood watching patrol. He worked for the transfer of some Central Government installations to the San Juan Municipality such as Estadio Sixto Escobar, Parque Luis Munoz Marin, Parque del Tercer Milenio, and Biblioteca Carnegie. He also brought international events to the city such as the World Baseball Classic, the FIBA Americas Championship, Miss Universe 2002, the first Special Olympics World Aquatics, Iron Man 70.3 San Juan, and America regional Special Olympics. Some on his projects are still in development such as the Parque las Curias, La Casa del Abuelo and the reconstruction of San Juan's equestrian park . During his term new stores and business came to San Juan such as Walk Mart Sam's Club and an under development high class mall : The mall of San Juan. He also worked with the Central government for the restoration of Puerta De Tierra and Old San Juan under the Bahia Urbana project and San Juan walkable city project.

His cabinet has included former Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Executive Director Miguel Cordero and former Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico President Lourdes Rovira as Vice Mayor, Police Colonel Adalberto Mercado and Sports and Recreation Director Maria Elena Batista.

In the 2012 San Juan mayoral election, Santini was defeated by PPD candidate Carmen Yulín Cruz ending his 12 years as Mayor of San Juan. He left office on January 14, 2013.


In 1975, Mayor Santini became a member of the United States Marines Air Cadets Corps, standing out for his leadership, teamwork, and willingness to serve his country. At present, he is Lieutenant Colonel in the State Guard of the National Guard of Puerto Rico, assigned to the Judge Advocate General's Corps. On September 18, 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Mayor Santini to serve on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

A billboard of Santini's family decorates his former campaign headquarters

Santini married Irma Garriga on August 23, 1986. They have three children together: Odette (b. 1987), Jorge Andrés (b. 1996), and Amanda (b. 2003).

See also[edit]


External links[edit]