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Puerto Rico mayor, Trump critic announces run for governor

3 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 March 22, 2019 1:01 PM March 22, 2019 in News - AP National

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital announced Friday that she is running for governor of the U.S. territory.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is a polarizing figure who became an outspoken critic of U.S. President Donald Trump after Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017 as a Category 4 storm.

"Trump and his followers here and over there clung to the idea that everything was fine," she said during her speech to supporters as they clapped.

Cruz, who was a nominee for TIME Magazine's 2017 Person of the Year, said that if elected, she plans to hold a constitutional assembly to decide the future of Puerto Rico's political status.

Cruz also said she wants to eliminate a federal control board overseeing the island's finances and allow government agencies to declare bankruptcy if needed, among other things. Puerto Rico is mired in a 12-year recession and trying to restructure some of its more than $70 billion public debt.

Cruz is a member of the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island's commonwealth status.

She will face Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party in general elections of November 2020. Rossello is seeking a second term.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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