SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A new governor is taking office in Puerto Rico in an ideological shift for the island.
Alejandro Garcia Padilla is being sworn in on a stage overlooking the Atlantic Ocean outside the capitol building in San Juan. Garcia narrowly defeated pro-statehood Gov. Luis Fortuno in November.
Garcia is a 41-year-old lawyer and former senator in the legislature of the U.S. island territory. His party opposes statehood for the island. He won thanks in part to support from labor unions angered when Fortuno laid off more than 20,000 government workers to help close a budget deficit.
Many union members were in the cheering crowd at Wednesday's inauguration. Garcia says his priority will be to create jobs on an island where unemployment is above 13 percent.