PR Gov Backs Obama for President
Puerto Rican Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila endorsed Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday, giving the candidate potentially key support from one of the island's superdelegates in a close fight for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Acevedo said he chose Obama because the Illinois senator supports a process of resolving Puerto Rico's relationship to the United States that is also favored by the governor's Popular Democratic Party.
Acevedo supports retaining the territory's semiautonomous relationship with the U.S. and he opposes a bill before Congress that could force residents to choose between statehood and independence.
The governor also said Obama expressed support for continued U.S. assistance with Puerto Rico's economic development and the cleanup of the former Navy bombing range in Vieques.
"This is a unique opportunity to have a president who genuinely respects and appreciates Puerto Ricans and is willing to assume an important role in favor of Puerto Rico," he said in a statement.
He called Hillary Rodham Clinton an "extraordinary senator" for New York and a "friend of Puerto Rico," but said Obama had made more of a commitment to the island.
As one of eight superdelegates from the island, Acevedo casts one of Puerto Rico's 63 votes at the Democratic convention. The other 55 are apportioned based on the results of the island's June 7 primary. Residents of Puerto Rico can't vote in the general election.
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