Grayson Garners Key Puerto Rican Endorsement: “In Alan Grayson, Puerto Rico Has an Ally”

April 11, 2012

Former congressman and current congressional candidate Alan Grayson (D-Orlando) proudly accepted the endorsement of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV). The CRDV, a leading civic organization in Puerto Rico, announced Tuesday their support for Grayson to represent Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

"Puerto Ricans have an ally and a friend in Alan Grayson. We need Alan Grayson back in Congress not just to ably represent his Congressional district which has many Puerto Ricans, but also to continue the fight for justice for the people of Vieques,”said CRDV spokesman Nilda Medina.

The endorsement is significant because the CRDV picked Grayson, instead of one of the two Puerto Rican candidates who have already entered the race.

In the statement announcing its endorsement, the CRDV praised Grayson for his efforts as a “staunch advocate” for the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico. As reported in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia, Grayson fought for government accountability and compensation for the people of Vieques. While in Congress, Grayson called for a congressional hearing to further the examination into unhealthy conditions on the island as a result of 62 years of military bombing and training exercises. Chemicals from the bombing range have polluted the Vieques water supply. A study by the Puerto Rico Health Department concluded the cancer rate among people on Vieques is 27 percent higher than for those on the main island.

Coincidentally, the CRDV endorsement came just a few days shy of the 13th anniversary of a terrible mishap on the bombing range on Vieques. On April 19, 1999, the pilot of a Marine Corps F-18 on a training mission mistakenly dropped two 500-pound bombs on an observation post. The explosion killed a civilian security guard and injured four others.