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THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
Calderon Names Referee To Mediate PDP Resident Commissioner
Race to be candidate boils over into battle
by Ivan Roman
August 1, 1999
Copyright © 1999 THE ORLANDO SENTINEL. All Rights Reserved.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The race to be the Popular Democratic
Party's candidate for resident commissioner has gotten so hot
they've called in a referee.
Former Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon is incensed that his son,
candidate Jose Alfredo Hernandez Mayoral, was not allowed on stage
at the party's massive event last Sunday celebrating the establishment
of the Commonwealth. So he fired off a letter to San Juan Mayor
Sila Maria Calderon, the party's gubernatorial candidate, threatening
her with unspecified legal action if the party continues to support
his son's rival, Rep. Anibal Acevedo Vila, House minority speaker
and party vice president.
Calderon, a member of Hernandez Colon's last administration,
shot back saying she was tired of her ex-boss' criticism, which
she says hurts the party. Acevedo Vila was on stage, she said,
because he is an elected official.
Calderon defends her right to back Acevedo Vila as her running
The race has turned into a battle between those who back Calderon
and Acevedo Vila and the "Rafaelistas," who remain loyal
to Hernandez Colon and resent Calderon's rejection of his son.
It has played out for months, but this latest round of public
letters has turned it into a crisis. Party members flooded radio
talk shows to say they've had enough.
Hector Luis Acevedo, the PDP's gubernatorial candidate in 1996,
is horrified by the ordeal.
"I see this as being really dangerous to the PDP,"
Calderon decided not to accept Hernandez Colon's request for
a meeting and instead formed a commission headed by former Justice
Secretary Hector Rivera Cruz to mediate the dispute.