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Could Puerto Rico's Moment Be Over? Leaders Split On How To Keep Island In Limelight

Hundreds of protesters call for the resignation of then-governor Ricardo Rosselló on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico."

Just days before his dramatic ousting on Aug. 2, former Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló signed a law, with little fanfare, to move up Puerto Rico’s Democratic presidential primary elections in 2020 from June to March.

It was one of his last actions before stepping down, a move that Rosselló believed could place the embattled island on the U.S. political map next year. While Puerto Ricans on the island can’t vote in the presidential election, they’ve had the right to vote in the primaries since 1979. And in the midst of a crowded field with 23 candidates, every delegate could prove crucial to win the nomination.

“This law intends to bring national attention to Puerto Rico, especially in the upcoming Democratic primaries,” Rosselló said when he signed the law. “Currently, the primary is to be held in June, which reduces the impact we may have. By making Puerto Rico an early voting state, candidates will be forced to pay attention to our needs." 

Read more from our news partner, The Miami Herald.