After two weeks of demanding the governor's resignation, Puerto Ricans who protested outgoing Gov. Ricardo Rosselló had a lot to celebrate on Thursday.
Rosselló announced late Wednesday night that he is stepping down Aug. 2. Earlier in the month, leaked group chats between Rosselló and several aides and advisers revealed misogynistic and homophonic remarks, as well as jokes about Hurricane Maria victims. The public was outraged, and the repeated protests spurred Rosselló to leave office.
For many Puerto Ricans, though, they are getting rid of one bad governor and replacing him with a new dud. Rosselló's successor, Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez Garced, isn't very popular. Critics say she has mishandled the prosecutions of members of her own political party, the New Progressive Party, and anti-Vázquez Garced graffiti has been popping up around San Juan. She is a "necessary evil," protestor Mildred Breton told The Washington Post. "But the expectation is that she remains in office the least amount of time possible. She is part of the problem and not a solution."
Under ordinary circumstances, Vázquez Garced would not be replacing Rosselló — the secretary of state succeeds the governor, but that office remains empty after Luis Gerardo Rivera Marín resigned this month in the wake of the group chats scandal. Rosselló could try to appoint a new secretary of state before he leaves office next Friday. Whether it is Vázquez Garced or someone else who assumes the governorship, they're going to have a difficult task ahead — Puerto Rico is dealing with everything from a major bankruptcy and restructuring to cuts to public services.