Luis Guillermo Fortuño Burset (born October 31, 1960) is the governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States of America. Fortuño is also the president of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (NPP), a member of the Republican National Committee, and serves as President-elect of the Council of State Governments. On June 26, 2011 he announced his plans to run for reelection. In the 1990s, Fortuño served as the first Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce as the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and as the President of Puerto Rico's Hotel Development Corporation during the administration of Governor Pedro Rosselló. In 2003 Fortuño won the 2004 NPP nomination for Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico in primaries against former Governor Carlos Romero Barceló, former Senate President Charlie Rodriguez and then senator Miriam Ramírez. He was then elected Resident Commissioner in 2004, defeating Senator Roberto Prats. Fortuño represented Puerto Rico from 2005 to 2009 in the United States House of Representatives, and served as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a Member of the newly-created United States House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs and co-chair, with Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), of the Friends of Spain Caucus. Fortuño later won the NPP gubernatorial nomination by a wide margin after defeating former Governor and then-Senator Pedro Rosselló in the primaries. He then won the race for Governor by a wide margin during the 2008 elections, defeating incumbent Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá. Fortuño holds the distinction of being the first Republican to be elected Governor of Puerto Rico since 1969, and the second Republican governor since 1949. He was also the third Republican Representative elected from Puerto Rico in the island territory's history. Fortuño has been mentioned by former Minnesota governor and Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty as a potential running mate in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, and by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist as a potential presidential candidate.
Early life and family
Fortuño was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Luis Fortuño Moscoso, a dentist and Shirley Joyce Burset de Mari.
He is the eldest of four brothers. His maternal great grandfather was born in Marín, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain and emigrated to Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. The surname Burset ultimately comes from Catalonia with his 3rd great-grandfather being born in Catalonia.
2004 campaign for Resident Commissioner
In the elections of 2004, Fortuño was victorious (48.5% of votes) over his main rival candidate Roberto Prats (48% of votes) of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP). Fortuño's running mate, Pedro Rosselló, lost his bid for the governor's seat to then Resident Commissioner Aníbal Acevedo Vilá by less than 4,000 votes. This meant that Fortuño would be the Resident Commissioner under Governor Acevedo Vilá of the PDP.
This was the first time in Puerto Rican history that the Governor of Puerto Rico and the Resident Commissioner were not from the same political party.
Upon the commencement of the 109th Congress, Fortuño was elected by his colleagues to serve as vice-president of the House Republican freshman class. He served as vice-chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference during the 109th Congress and as chair during the 110th Congress. Fortuño was Co-Chair of the Congressional Friends of Spain, part of the Hispanic Conference Caucus. House Resources Committee Ranking Member Don Young appointed him in January 2007 as the Republican minority's Ranking Member in the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs for the 110th Congress. Fortuño cosponsored the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2007, which would give Puerto Ricans the option to become a US state or sovereign state.
In October, 2007, Fortuño filed legislation, along with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to assure the continued operation of the Arecibo Radiotelescope.
Governor of Puerto Rico
On February 19, 2007, Fortuño announced his candidacy for Governor of Puerto Rico for the 2008 general election. He faced former 2004 running mate and former Gov. Pedro Juan Rosselló González in an NPP primary on March 9, 2008 which he won by a 60% to 40% margin. On November 4, 2008, Fortuño became the ninth Governor elect of Puerto Rico by popular election winning by over 220,000 votes, the largest victory margin in 44 years and giving the New Progressive Party its largest victory in history.
Also he became the second governor to get more than a million votes, after Pedro Rosselló's reelection in 1996.
Rumored potential candidacy for U.S. president
Governor Fortuño has been mentioned more than once as a long-shot potential candidate for nomination for President or Vice President in 2012 and his frequent campaign trips to the mainland during the 2010 congressional races have been linked to potential national aspirations. Fortuño has also been mentioned by Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, as someone to look for in the future on the national political stage. George Will endorsed Fortuño's support for statehood as a national Republican strategy. In early 2011, he was the only governor invited to speak at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California at the Heritage Foundation-sponsored retreat for Republican members of Congress. His June 26, 2011 announcement in Bayamón that he will seek a second term as Governor of Puerto Rico suggests that he will not aspire to national office in 2012.