Pedro Pierluisi

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Pedro Pierluisi
Pedro-Pierluisi-cropped.jpg
Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Luis Fortuño
Personal details
Born Pedro Rafael Pierluisi Urrutia
(1959-04-26) April 26, 1959 (age 55)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Political party New Progressive Party[1]
Other political
affiliations
Democratic Party[2]
Alma mater Tulane University
George Washington University
Website Government Website

Pedro Rafael Pierluisi Urrutia[a][b] (born April 26, 1959) is a Puerto Rican lawyer and politician affiliated with the New Progressive Party (NPP) and with the Democratic Party. He is the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico to the United States Congress, having won the November 4, 2008 general election.[1]

Early years[edit]

Pierluisi was born in 1959 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He attended Colegio Marista of Guaynabo, graduating in 1977. In 1981, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Tulane University, and later earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from George Washington University Law School in 1984. He was President of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association chapter at Tulane University.[4] Later, he was President of the George Washington University International Law Society from 1982–1983. During his studies at George Washington University, Pierluisi interned at the congressional office of then Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Baltasar Corrada del Río.

Pierluisi first practiced law as a private attorney in Washington, D.C. from 1984 until 1990. Notably, Mr. Pierluisi was one of the lead attorneys representing the government of Peru in its lawsuit against the Hunt brothers for trying to corner the silver market in the late 1970s. The lawsuit resulted in a $180 million damages award for the plaintiff. He then practiced law in Puerto Rico from 1990 until 1993.

Political career[edit]

Pierluisi was appointed as Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico by Pedro Rosselló in 1993. He was unanimously confirmed.

On May 18, 2007, Pierluisi announced his candidacy for Resident Commissioner, Puerto Rico's sole delegate to the United States Congress in the November 2008 elections. He accompanied then current Resident Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Luis Fortuño in the March 9, 2008 NPP primary ticket. Fortuño was a classmate at Colegio Marista, a fellow founding member of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association in 1979, and also a fellow cabinet member of Pierluisi's during Governor Rosselló's first term from 1993–1996.

According to the candidate reports filed before the Federal Elections Commission (FEC),[5] Pierluisi led the other NPP candidates by a ten-to-one margin in fundraising, having raised over $450,000 in 2007, while opponent Charlie Rodriguez had only raised $47,000 and Dr. Miriam Ramírez de Ferrer had not reported any fundraising. He also leads in fundraising among the four candidates to succeed Resident Commissioner Fortuño in the November 4, 2008 general election.

On March 9, 2008, Pierluisi won the primary with 61% of the vote against former Senate President Charlie Rodriguez, who polled 33%, and former Sen. Miriam Ramírez, who obtained 6% of the vote. Pierluisi's runningmate, Luis Fortuño, also won the NPP nomination for governor with nearly 60% of primary votes.[6]

On November 4, 2008, he won the post of Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico with over 53% of the vote. He was sworn in on January 6, 2009 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was the top vote-getter in the 2012 general elections, when he was reelected to a second four-year term and outpolled his running-mate, then Gov. Luis Fortuño as well as current Gov. Alejandro García Padilla. He now has more seniority in the House than the congressman who is 254th on the list of seniority.

Congressman Pierluisi is a member of the New Progressive Party in Puerto Rico which advocates statehood for the Island territory. He and former Governor Luis Fortuño, both of the New Progressive Party, obtained the largest margin of victory in Puerto Rico in the past 44 years garnering a mandate of over one million votes. While on Capitol Hill Pierluisi caucuses with the Democratic Party.[1] He is the sole representative in Congress of the 3.7 million American citizens who reside on the Island.

On May 19, 2009, Pierluisi filed HR 2499, a bill to provide for a two-tiered referendum in Puerto Rico to allow Puerto Ricans to express their opinion regarding Puerto Rico's ultimate political status.[7] The bill's 90 original co-sponsors exceeds the 80 original co-sponsors in HR 900, filed by his predecessor, Luis Fortuño.[8] HR 2499 passed the house on April 30, 2010 with a vote of 223–169. Since then, in a political status plebiscite held on November 6, 2012, Puerto Rico's voters, with 54% of the vote, expressed their desire to change the island's political status. Of those expressing an alternate status, 61% supported statehood for Puerto Rico. On May 15, 2013, Pierluisi filed HR 2000, a bill to admit Puerto Rico as a state. [9]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

  • Congressional Arts Caucus

Personal life[edit]

Pierluisi is married to María Elena Carrión, an executive, investment manager, and entrepreneur with whom he has three sons, Anthony, Michael, and Rafael, and one daughter, Jacqueline.[10]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Pierluisi and the second or maternal family name is Urrutia.
  2. ^ Primera Hora (2009) "El nuevo comisionado residente en Washington, Pedro Rafael Pierluisi Urrutia..."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Newlin, Eliza. Res. Com. Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR, At-Large) – The Almanac of American Politics. Nationaljournal.com. Retrieved on 2012-11-22.
  2. ^ http://pierluisi.house.gov/english/biography.html
  3. ^ "Busca auxilio federal". Primera Hora (in Spanish). January 7, 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.statehoodpr.org Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association official website
  5. ^ FEC 2007–2008 Cycle (2008-06-11). "Pedro Pierluisi Total Receipts". FEC. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  6. ^ Primarias 2008 Escrutinio PNP on CEEPUR.org
  7. ^ Garcia, Steve (2009-07-20). Steve Garcia: Puerto Rico's Path To Statehood. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 2012-11-22.
  8. ^ Home – El Nuevo Día. Elnuevodia.com (2010-03-31). Retrieved on 2012-11-22.
  9. ^ – Puerto Rico Report. PuertoRicoReport.com (2013-05-15). Retrieved on 2013-05-13.
  10. ^ Delgado, José (June 6, 2011). "Gitana la esposa de Pedro Pierluisi". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Retrieved September 2, 2013.