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Senate of Puerto Rico
Senado de Puerto Rico
Coat of arms or logo.
Type Upper house
President of the Senate Thomas Rivera Schatz, (PNP)
since 2009
Majority Leader Roberto Arango, (PNP)
since 2009
Minority Leader José Luis Dalmau Santiago, (PDP)
since 2001
Members 31 (including 2 vacancies)
Political groups New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico
Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
Senate of Puerto Rico.parliament.jpg
Capitol of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, United States

The Senate of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Senado de Puerto Rico) is the upper house of the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico, the territorial legislature of Puerto Rico. The Senate is composed of 27 senators, representing eight constituent senatorial districts across the commonwealth, with two senators elected per district; an additional eleven senators are elected at-large.

The Senate, along with its members and staff, are housed in the eastern half of the Capitol Building, the Rafael Martinez Nadal Senate Annex Building, the Luis Muñoz Marín Office Building, the Antonio R. Barceló Building, the Luis A. Ferré Building and the Ramón Mellado Parsons Office Building.


Rules and arrangements

In order to elect the members of the Senate, Puerto Rico is divided into eight senatorial districts:

For each one of these districts, the people of Puerto Rico elect two senators. In addition, the people are allowed to vote for one senator at-large of their preference. The eleven at-large Senate candidates with the majority of votes integrate the rest of the Senate. Whenever the elected members of the minority constitute less than nine members, the Constitution provides for the certification of additional "add-on" minority Senators, who will serve in an at-large capacity. Such was the case after the 2004 elections, when four defeated Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Senate candidates, one at-large, and three district candidates, were added on as at-large Senators, joining the five PDP Senators who had achieved election in their own right. This constitutional guarantee of a minimum legislative minority representation is unique to Puerto Rico among all legislatures under the American flag, incorporating an element of proportionality usually found only in proportional representation bodies.

Article III of the Constitution of Puerto Rico states that no person can be a member of the Senate unless he or she:

  • is capable of reading and writing in either Spanish or English;
  • is a citizen of the United States;
  • has resided in Puerto Rico for at least two years immediately prior to the date of his election or appointment;
  • is over thirty years of age.
Puerto Rico

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
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Current composition

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
New Progressive Popular Democratic Independence Vacant
End of previous legislature 17 9 1 27 0
Begin 22 9 0 31 0
Latest voting share 70.9% 29.1%

Current leadership

Position Name Party District
President of the Senate Thomas Rivera Schatz PNP At-Large
President pro Tempore Margarita Nolasco Santiago PNP At-Large
Majority Leader Roberto Arango PNP I
Majority Whip Larry Seilhamer Rodriguez PNP V
Minority Leader José Luis Dalmau PDP At-Large
Minority Whip Eduardo Bhatia PDP At-Large

Current membership

District District Name Name Party
I San Juan Roberto Arango PNP
Kimmey Raschke Martinez
II Bayamón Migdalia Padilla Alvelo PNP
Carmelo Ríos Santiago
III Arecibo José Emilio González Velázquez PNP
Angel Martinez Santiago
IV Mayagüez-Aguadilla Luis Daniel Muñiz Cortes PNP
Evelyn Vazquez Nieves
V Ponce Luis A. Berdiel Rivera PNP
Larry Seilhamer Rodriguez
VI Guayama Antonio Soto Diaz PNP
Carlos J. Torres Torres
VII Humacao Jose R. Diaz Hernandez PNP
Luz M. Santiago Gonzalez
VIII Carolina Héctor Martínez Maldonado PNP
Lornna Soto Villanueva
At-Large Luz Arce Ferrer PNP
Eduardo Bhatia PDP
Norma Burgos PNP
José Luis Dalmau PDP
Antonio Fas Alzamora PDP
Alejandro Garcia Padilla PDP
Sila María González Calderón PDP
Juan Eugenio Hernández Mayoral PDP
Margarita Nolasco Santiago PNP
Eder E. Ortiz Ortiz PDP
Itzamar Peña Ramirez PNP
Thomas Rivera Schatz PNP
Melinda Romero Donnelly PNP
Cirilo Tirado Rivera PNP
Jorge Suárez Cáceres PDP

The Office of Legislative Services is currently headed by Kevin Rivera, while Eliezer Velázquez currently serves as Superintendent of the Capitol.

Summary of the November 4, 2008 elections

Party Pre-Election
% of
% of
+/- Total
New Progressive 17 1,576,542 11 47.4 913,907 6 48.4 +5 22
Popular Democratic 9 1,566,217 5 47.1 818,770 4 43.4 -4 5
Puerto Rican Independence 1 76,555 0 0.2 82,577 0 4.4 -1 0
Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico 0 79,386 0 0.2 37,457 0 2.1 0 0
Independent 0 - 0 0.0 16,269 0 0.9 0 0
Others 0 1,572 0 0.0 549 0 0.0 0 0
 Total 27 3,300,272 16 1,869,529 11 27

Former members

Notable former Senators

Former Senators

The following is a list of former Senators of Puerto Rico, along with their years of service and the senatorial district they represented.

New Progressive Party
  • Carmen Luz Berríos Rivera
    (1997-2001) Guayama
  • Norma Carranza de León
    (1993-2001,2003-2005) Arecibo
  • David Cruz Vélez
    (1989-1993) At Large
  • Carlos Dávila Pérez
    (1997-2001) Humacao
  • Francisco González Rodríguez
    (1997-2001) San Juan
  • Roger Iglesóias
    (1993-2001) Carolina
  • Luisa Lebrón Burgos
    (1993-2000) Carolina
  • Miguel Loiz Zayas
    (1993-1997) Humacao
  • Danny López Soto
  • Víctor Loubriel Ortiz
    (Jan. 2-4 2005) Arecibo
  • Víctor Marrero Padilla
    (1993-2000) Arecibo
  • Aníbal Marrero Pérez
    (1984-2000) Bayamón
  • Héctor Martínez Colón
    (1969-1973) "Ponce"
  • José Enrique Meléndez Ortiz
    (1993-2001) Guayama
  • Luis Felipe Navas de León
    (1993-2000) Humacao
  • Nicolás Nogueras Cartagena
    (1973-1985, 1989-1996) At Large
  • Sergio Peña Clos
    (1981-2005) At Large
  • Oreste Ramos Díaz
    (1977-1997) San Juan
  • Roberto Rexach Benítez
    (1985-1998) At Large
  • Charles Rodríguez Colón
    (1993-2001) At Large
  • Rafael Rodríguez González
    (1993-1997) Mayagüez-Aguadilla
  • Enrique Rodríguez Negrón
    (1989-2001) At Large
  • Rolando Silva Iglesias
    (1981-1996) San Juan
  • Angel Tirado Martínez
    (2000-2001) Arecibo
  • Freddie Valentín Acevedo (1993-1997) NPP-At Large
  • Luis Felipe Vázquez Ortiz
    (1996-1997) San Juan
  • Dennis Vélez Barlucea
    (1993-1997) Ponce
  • Eduardo Zabala Velázquez
    (1993-1997) Ponce
Popular Democratic Party
  • Eduardo Bhatia Gautier
    (1997-2001, 2009-) At Large
  • Elsie Calderón de Hernández
    (1985-1993) Carolina
  • Juan Cancel Ríos
    (1969-1976) "Arecibo"
  • Juan Cancel Alegría
    (2001-2005) Carolina
  • Miguel Deynes Soto
    (1973-1993) Mayagüez-Aguadilla
  • Carlos García Goyco
    (1965-1968) "San Juan"
  • Velda González de Modestti
    (1981-2005) At Large
  • Ana Nisi Goyco Graciani
    (1981-1993) Ponce
  • Miguel Hernández Agosto
    (1970-1997) At Large
  • Sixto Hernández Serrano
    (2001-2006) Humacao
  • Rafael Irizarry
    (2000-2005) Mayagüez-Aguadilla
  • Luis Izquierdo
    (1981-1993) At Large
  • Américo Martínez
    (1981-1993) Arecibo
  • Yasmín Mejías Lugo
    (2001-2005) Carolina
  • Jorge Orama Monroig
    (1989-1992) Ponce
  • José Ortiz Daliot
    (2001-2005) San Juan
  • Margarita Ostolaza Bey
    (2001-2005) San Juan
  • Mercedes Otero de Ramos
    (1993-2001) At Large
  • Joaquín Peña Peña
    (1985-1993) Carolina
  • Roberto Prats Palerm
    (2001-2005) At Large
  • Jorge Alberto Ramos Comas
    (1997-2000) Mayagüez-Aguadilla
  • Marco Antonio Rigau
    (1989-1997) At Large
  • Gilberto Rivera Ortiz
    (1970-1993) Humacao
  • Juan Rivera Ortiz
    (1973-1993, 1996-1997) Guayama
  • Julio Rodríguez Gómez
    (2002-2005) Arecibo
  • Maribel Rodríguez Hernández
    (2001-2002) Arecibo
  • Rafael Rodríguez Vargas
    (2001-2005) Arecibo
  • Edgardo Rosario Burgos
    (1989-1993) Arecibo
  • Jesús Santa Aponte
    (1977-1993) Humacao
  • Cirilo Tirado Delgado
    (1989-1997) Guayama
  • Roberto Vigoreaux Lorenzana (2001-2005) PDP-At Large
Puerto Rican Independence Party
  • Manuel Rodríguez Orellana
    (2000-2001) At Large

Presidents of the Senate

Number Image President Years Party
1 Antonio Barcelo.JPG Antonio R. Barceló 1917-1929 Union of Puerto Rico
2 Luis Sánchez Morales 1929-1933 unknown
3 Rafael Martínez Nadal 1933-1941 Coalition
4 Luis Muñoz Marín.jpg Luis Muñoz Marín 1941-1948 PDP
5 Samuel R. Quiñones 1949-1968 PDP
6 Rafael Hernández Colón 1969-1972 PDP
7 Juan Cancel Ríos 1973-1976 PDP
8 LuisAFerre.jpg Luis A. Ferré 1977-1980 PNP
9 Miguel Hernández Agosto 1981-1992 PDP
10 Roberto Rexach Benítez 1993-1996 PNP
11 Charlie Rodríguez 1997-2000 PNP
12 Antonio Fas Alzamora 2001-2004 PDP
13 Kenneth McClintock 2005-2008 PNP
14 Thomas Rivera Schatz 2009-present PNP

See also

External links


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