The Republican Party (Spanish: Partido Republicano) is a political party in Puerto Rico, and the affiliate of the national Republican Party of United States. The party supports statehood for the island. Carlos Méndez, the Mayor of Aguadilla, is the local chairman and the party is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico Republican Party chairpersons
Once the Spanish-American War ended in 1898, a wing of the Autonomist Party, an old party from Spanish colonial times, founded The Republican Party on July 4, 1899. This new party favored joining the United States as a federated state and was led by Dr. José Celso Barbosa. The party was ideologically conservative and was seen as representing the island's large sugar industry.
In 1924 the party split into two factions. One faction joined with the Union Party to form the Alianza (The Alliance), a pro-autonomy group. The other faction, renaming itself the Pure Republican Party, joined with the Socialist Party to form the pro-statehood Coalición (The Coalition).
In 1932, part of the Alianza returned to the Pure Republican Party, and the party was renamed the Republican Union. The Republican Union eventually dissolved in the 1930s and became the Puerto Rican Republican Party.
In 1967 a split in the Republican Statehood Party between leaders Miguel A. García Méndez and Luis A. Ferré over the 1967 status plebiscite led to the formation of the New Progressive Party (NPP). The division caused the Republican Statehood Party to be dissolved after the 1968 elections when it did not poll the number of votes necessary to retain its party registration. The New Progressive Party went on to win the 1968 elections.
The Republican Party nowadays effectively functions as the conservative wing of the PNP. Luis Fortuño was re-elected by the Republican Party of Puerto Rico's General Assembly to continue serving as National Committeeman, a position he has held since 2001. He won reelection as National Committeeman in the GOP convention held on May 20, 2007 in Yauco, Puerto Rico.
Trías Monge, José. Puerto Rico: The Trials of the Oldest Colony in the World (Yale University Press, 1997) ISBN 0-300-07618-5