Soto in 2018
|Mayor of Canóvanas|
Assumed office |
July 1, 2014
|Preceded by||José "Chemo" Soto|
|Member of the Puerto Rico Senate|
from the Carolina district
May 27, 1970|
Río Piedras, Puerto Rico
|Political party||New Progressive Party|
University of Puerto Rico at Carolina|
Universidad del Este
Lornna J. Soto Villanueva (born May 27, 1970) is a Puerto Rican politician affiliated with the New Progressive Party (PNP). She is the current mayor of Canóvanas, succeeding her father, José "Chemo" Soto in 2014. Before being mayor, Soto was elected Senator for the district of Carolina in the 2004 general election along with Senator Héctor Martínez Maldonado. She served as Senator until 2013.
Early years and studies
Lornna Soto was born on May 27, 1970 in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. She is the third of nine children born to José "Chemo" Soto, current mayor of Canóvanas, Puerto Rico, and Delia "Niní" Villanueva. Soto has a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Puerto Rico at Carolina and a Master's degree in Public Affairs with a specialty in Public Policy from the Universidad del Este, also in Carolina.
First years in politics
In 1997, Soto started working as a special assistant to the then Representative for the 38th District of Trujillo Alto, Carolina, and Canóvanas, Iván Figueroa Figueroa. She also worked as an adviser for the Commission of Consumer Affairs of the House of Representatives.
In 2001, she worked with the mayors of Fajardo and Río Grande, Aníbal Meléndez Rivera and Emilio Rosa Pacheco, as a public relations adviser. During this year, she was also in charge of the implementation of the Business Development Center from Loíza, an institution that helps the residents of that municipality with employment opportunities. That year, she also started working in the Health Department of San Juan, where she was in charge of the recruiting of municipalities for the creation and implementation of several health programs.
In 2006, Soto was linked to purported Puerto Rican drug dealer José López Rosario, also known as Coquito. López was shot in July 2006 by a rival dealer, and was in coma for six days. During that time, Senators Soto and Héctor Martínez Maldonado, and Representative Epifanio Jiménez either visited López, or called to check on his status. Soto has claimed that she knew Coquito for his involvement in the community of Torres de Sabana.
Soto was re-elected in 2008. During her time in the Senate, Soto has presided the Banking, Consumer Affairs, Public Corporations and Insurance Committees in the senate. In 2012, Soto lost her bid for reelection.
Mayor of Canóvanas (2014-present)
On June 5, 2016 she was nominated as the New Progressive Party's mayoral candidate for a full term, obtaining 54% of the vote in a five-way race.
A Democrat, Lornna Soto has attended three Democratic National Conventions, including Denver in 2008, Charlotte in 2012 and Philadelphia in 2016, where she was a delegate representing the Carolina Senatorial District. On April 8, 2016 she was the only woman to file as a candidate for Vice Chair of the Puerto Rico Democratic Party and, along with Democratic activist Francisco Domenech and Democratic National Committeeman Kenneth McClintock has filed a credentials challenge to be recognized as the incumbent Vice Chair. The challenge is pending resolution before the Democratic National Committee and its Credentials Committee.
Soto is the divorced mother of two daughters: Lorenis Paola and Pamela Julianys.
- Lockwood: Sila Left GDB Without Money… "Soto Files Complaint Against FBI Agents" By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin June 15, 2005
- Hacen justicia en nombre de Coquito on Primera Hora; Aldridge, Leonardo (September 5, 2011)
- Organización de Coquito ganó $65 millones en un solo punto on El Nuevo Día; Suárez Torres, Lymaris (May 11, 2010)
- Criollo Oquero, Agustín (July 1, 2014). "Lornna Soto juramenta como alcaldesa de Canóvanas". Primera Hora. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
- Ortiz Rivera, Joel (January 26, 2012) Esposo de Lornna Soto dirige ATM Metro. El Nuevo Día