Home Local News Several local primary races still too close to call
Issued : Tuesday, March 20, 2012 11:15 PM
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Several local primary races still too close to call

By : EVA LLORÉNS VÉLEZ

Some of the candidates aspiring to elective office will have to wait until the official tallies, which began Tuesday, are over to know if they will appear on the November election ballot.

The New Progressive (NPP) and Popular Democratic (PDP) parties will be in charge of verifying and completing the official tally of electoral results to issue a final certification.

Two of the candidates who still don’t know if they fell short in Sunday’s primaries are New Progressive Party Sen. Lucy Arce and former NPP electoral commissioner Héctor Morales. The two are less than 0.5 percent apart in votes for the sixth at-large Senate slot.

Morales, in fact, initially accepted defeat only to go back on his concession just as Arce did.

In the NPP race for the District 21 House candidacy, Noel Morales and Ramoncito Ramos are separated by just 27 votes. In the District 19 NPP race, meanwhile, there are only 78 votes separating Rafael Beauchamp and Orlando Orta.

The aspiring NPP mayoral candidate for Aguada, Manuel Gabina, has only 39 votes more than opponent Luis Echevarría. The NPP mayoral candidates for Culebra are separated by five votes. The results could change after the official tally.

Several NPP incumbents won’t be up for their seats in the general elections. House representatives Ángel Pérez, Paula Rodríguez, David Bonilla and José Luis Jiménez, as well as at-large House Rep. José Chico, fell to challengers in the primaries. Pérez conceded victory to Antonio Soto, a city assembly member who has the backing of Guaynabo Mayor Héctor O’Neill.

Other winners in NPP House district races were Waldemar Quiles, Eric Correa and Elizabeth Casado. NPP at-large representatives Jenniffer González, José “Pichy” Torres Zamora, José Aponte Hernández, Lourdes Ramos and José Enrique “Quiquito” Meléndez also won.

Chico was defeated by former NPP Secretary María Milagros Charbonier.
On the PDP side, winners in House district races were José “Pito” Torres, José “Conny” Varela and Nardén Jaime Espinosa.

The at-large House winners were Carmen Yulín Cruz, Luis Vega Ramos, Jaime Perelló, Brenda López de Arrarás and Jorge Colberg.

Rep. Charlie Hernández, a district representative, got an at-large House seat.

In the Senate, Arce, Kimmey Raschke and José Emilio González of the NPP fell short in their efforts to retain their seats. González was a district senator from Arecibo, while Arce and Raschke were at-large senators. González was defeated by José Pérez.

NPP winners in Senate primary races were Thomas Rivera Schatz, Margarita Nolasco, Melinda Romero, Itzamar Peña Ramírez and Larry Seilhamer. The sixth seat is being disputed by Arce and Morales. Sen. Ángel Chayanne Martínez will try to hold onto his Arecibo seat in November.

The NPP candidates for Senate seats from Humacao will be María Santiago and Ramón Díaz. Carlos Javier Torres will contest for the Guayama district seat.

Sens. Luis Daniel Muñiz and Evelyn Vázquez were NPP primary winners in Mayagüez, while. former Corrections Secretary Zoe Laboy and Rep. Liza Fernández got will be the NPP candidates for the district seats from San Juan.

Things were different on the PDP side. Eduardo Bhatia, Aníbal José Torres, Rossana López, Ángel Rosa, Cirilo Tirado, and Antonio J. “Tony” Fas Alzamora got at-large Senate slots, while Luis Ricardo Santini Gaudier came up short.

The candidates who will run for Senate district seats for Humacao are senators José Luis Dalmau Santiago and Jorge Suárez.

The Carolina Senate district seat will be contested by Rep. Pedrito Rodríguez.

Five New Progressive Party mayors won’t be running for re-election. These are the mayors of Aguada, Arecibo, Ceiba, Florida, Naguabo and Patillas. Arecibo Mayor Lemuel Soto, who had a very public dispute with the governor, was defeated by former Corrections Secretary Carlos Molina.

On the PDP side, Guayanilla Mayor Edgardo Arlequin turned back the only primary challenge for a popular-controlled mayoralty.

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