Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan and a fierce adversary of President Donald Trump, said on Friday she was running for governor of the U.S. territory in 2020.
Cruz gained international attention in 2017 when she sparred with Trump over the speed and scale of the federal response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated her Caribbean island.
“The day after the hurricane, it was clear that President Trump and his Republican government were going to leave us to die,” Cruz, 56, said in her announcement speech, wearing a T-shirt reading “Without Fear.” “The governor of Puerto Rico and the resident commissioner put their political interests in front of the country’s needs and kept quiet.”
Cruz will face Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, 40, in the 2020 November general elections. Rossello, of the New Progressive Party which backs Puerto Rico becoming a U.S. state, is seeking a second term.
Cruz is a member of the Popular Democratic Party, which supports Puerto Rico remaining a Commonwealth of the United States with self government. She is also a co-chair of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign.
She is in favor of eliminating a federal financial oversight board tasked with managing the territory’s finances.
The island is navigating the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history, with $120 billion of combined bond and pension debt when it declared bankruptcy in May 2017 after more than a decade of recession.
Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by James Dalgleish