||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2011)|
|Member of the Puerto Rico Senate
from the San Juan district
January 2005 – August 28, 2011
|Majority Speaker of the Senate of Puerto Rico|
|Preceded by||Margarita Nolasco|
|Succeeded by||Larry Seilhamer|
Miami, Florida, United States
|Political party||New Progressive Party|
|Alma mater||Louisiana State University|
|Occupation||Food importer and wholesaler|
Roberto Arango-Vinent is a Cuban American politician who served as a member of the Senate of Puerto Rico from January 2005 until August 2011. Arango represented the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (NPP) as a San Juan district senator, before resigning in the wake of a nude pictures scandal. As a part of the revelations he came out to himself as gay, and then publicly revealed his sexuality.
He is working as an international distributor. Arango was married to Ana Margarita Barba and has a daughter.
Early years and career
Arango was born in the city of Miami in the south east of the United States and both of his parents were Cuban. Arango studied at Colegio San Ignacio in San Juan. He then graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU) receiving a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Technology. After that, he worked as a food importer and wholesaler, which led him to make a point in his first campaign that he came from the private sector and was not a career politician.
After graduating, Arango started working for Procter & Gamble. During the time he worked there, he occupied several managerial positions like Unit Manager.
In 1989, Arango founded his own food distribution company called Intercontinental Food Distributors. In 2003, he was named Young Entrepreneur for that year by the Business Men and Women International Alliance (AIHME).
Career in politics
Arango decided to run for Senator for the San Juan District on the 2004 general elections. During the PNP primaries, he was the top vote-getter for San Juan district senator. In the general election on November 4, 2004 he was also the top vote-getter. He and running mate Carlos Díaz defeated incumbent Popular Democratic Party senators Margarita Ostolaza and José Ortiz Dalliot. Upon taking office, Senate President Kenneth McClintock appointed him chairman of the Senate Commerce, Tourism and Infrastructure Committee, a post he held until May 2005. This year, Senator and former Governor Pedro Rosselló made an unsuccessful attempt to take the Presidency of the Senate from McClintock. After Arango gave his support to Rosselló, McClintock removed him from the Committee leadership.
Arango served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of State Governments' Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC). An alumnus of CSG/ERC's Eastern Leadership Academy, he was elected president of the class of 2006. He was a member of CSG's Toll Fellows Program class of 2007. Active in the Republican Party, he was the San Juan congressional district GOP committee chair and vice-chaired the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney Puerto Rico campaign in 2004. Within the NPP he was chair of its statehood ideological institute until he was removed for supporting Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño's gubernatorial bid against NPP President Pedro Rosselló.
He was nominated for a second term in the 2008 PNP primary, which he won. In the 2008 general elections, he was the top vote-getter within the San Juan District. His fellow senators chose him as the Senate Majority Leader for the term, the top Senate leadership position after the Senate Presidency, for which Sen. Thomas Rivera Schatz was selected. As Majority Leader, he was charged with the task of pursuing the approval of the PNP's programmatic legislation in the legislative body.
He adopted as one of his pet issues the opposition to the firing in the air of firearms during the holiday season, especially in New Year's Eve, a practice that has resulted in innocent victims. On December 21, 2008, he held a joint press conference on the issue with Guayama, Puerto Rico Mayor-elect Glorimari Jaime and several pop artists, including Miguelito.
In August 2011, several nude pictures of a man, allegedly Arango, started circulating the press. The images were allegedly posted on Grindr, a gay mobile dating site. Arango distanced himself from the pictures and publicly stated that his political adversaries were responsible for igniting the scandal in search of political gains. Initially the leaked pictures were tame, but subsequent pictures were more pornographic in nature. Arango resigned to his senate position on August 28, 2011 due to the media pressure and the impact to his family.
On March 2014, Arango announced his intention to return to politics by running for the presidency of the New Progressive Party (PNP) in San Juan. However, he was defeated by Leo Díaz Urbina in the elections that were held on June 8, 2014. Arango finished with 1,186 votes for 12.25%.
Return to private life
After his resignation, Arango started working on a private international distributor. Upon questions from the press, he didn't deny the possibility to return to politics in the future.
In March 2014, Arango shared in an interview with NotiUno that he came to understand he was gay as a result of his resignation. Critics noted he had previously cast several anti-gay votes, had led efforts to pass a constitutional same-sex marriage ban, and in 2004 mocked another candidate by implying that candidate was gay.
- Roberto Arango, rey de las intrigas on El Nuevo Día; Rodríguez Sánchez, Israel (August 29, 2011)
- Elecciones Generales 2004 on CEEPUR.org
- Primarias 2008 Escrutinio PNP on CEEPUR.org
- Elecciones Generales: Escrutinio General 2008 on CEEPUR.org
- Contra las balls perdidas
- Caulfield, Philip (29 August 2011). "Puerto Rico Senator Roberto Arango resigns amid nude photo scandal; pics surface from gay app Grindr". New York Daily News. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- ¿Collar delatador?
- Roberto Arango dice que no recuerda haberse tomado las controversiales fotos on El Nuevo Día; Hernández Cabiya, Yanira and Alba Muñiz Gracia (August 25, 2011)
- Arango se distancia de fotos on El Nuevo Día; Muñiz Gracia, Alba Y. (August 26, 2011)
- Escándalo por fotos pornogáficas recorre la prensa mundial on El Nuevo Día (August 27, 2011)
- Renuncia el Senador Roberto Arango on El Nuevo Día; Rodríguez Sánchez, Israel (August 28, 2011)
- Laureano, Eva (March 9, 2014). "Tras admitir su homosexualidad, Arango anuncia su candidatura por San Juan". NotiCel. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Roberto Arango aspirará a la alcaldía de San Juan". Metro. March 7, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Leo Díaz gana la presidencia del PNP en San Juan". Primera Hora. June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Arango rompe el silencio tras el escándalo de las fotos on El Nuevo Día; Cela, María Cristina (November 21, 2011)
- "Admite su homosexualidad Roberto Arango". El Nuevo Día. March 7, 2014.
- Anti-Gay Puerto Rican GOP Senator Who Resigned Over Grindr Photos Comes Out Of The Closet: Video