POLITICS

Puerto Rico governor will not seek re-election, says will focus on financial crisis

  • SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - NOVEMBER 14:  Governor Alejandro Garc’a Padilla announces a 200 million dollar expansion of pharmaceutical operations of Eli Lilly in Puerto Rico at the Governor's Mansionon November 14, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he was joined by (L-R) Chief of Staff Ingrid Vila, Secretary of Economic Development Alberto Baco, and Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Development Bank Antonio Medina Comas.The island-territory of the United States is on the brink of a debt crisis as lending has skyrocketed in the last decade with the government issuing municipal bonds. Since the tax exemption for american manufacturing companies expired in 2006 Mr. Garc’a Padilla said jobs in that sector have dropped from around 170,000 to about 80,000. (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - NOVEMBER 14: Governor Alejandro Garc’a Padilla announces a 200 million dollar expansion of pharmaceutical operations of Eli Lilly in Puerto Rico at the Governor's Mansionon November 14, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he was joined by (L-R) Chief of Staff Ingrid Vila, Secretary of Economic Development Alberto Baco, and Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Development Bank Antonio Medina Comas.The island-territory of the United States is on the brink of a debt crisis as lending has skyrocketed in the last decade with the government issuing municipal bonds. Since the tax exemption for american manufacturing companies expired in 2006 Mr. Garc’a Padilla said jobs in that sector have dropped from around 170,000 to about 80,000. (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)  (2013 Getty Images)

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley greets Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley greets Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015.  (ap)

The governor of Puerto Rico announced Monday that he will not seek a second four-year term leading this debt-swamped U.S. territory.

In a brief televised message, Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said running for the November election as the candidate for the Popular Democratic Party would be a distraction even though he wants to campaign "with all my heart."

"Over the coming months, it would be inconsistent with putting all my efforts to bring Puerto Rico out this crisis and prevent those who created the crisis to return to power," Garcia said.

Struggling Puerto Rico faces more than $900 million in bond payments in January, including a $357 million general obligation bond payment due Jan. 1. It would be the island's first major default if the payment is not made. Puerto Rico's Public Finance Corporation already missed a $58 million bond payment in August.

Last week, Garcia said it was probable that the U.S. island will be unable to make more upcoming debt payments because it has no more money amid a worsening economic crisis. He made the comments during a trip to Washington to meet with Republican legislators and others before a vote by Congress that might include a provision giving Puerto Rico public agencies access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy provisions.

More On This...

Like all U.S. states and territories, Puerto Rico currently cannot declare bankruptcy under federal law, though mainland municipalities and their public utilities can.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram