Luis G. Fortuño Burset (born October 31, 1960 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a corporate lawyer and politician from Puerto Rico and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico to the United States Congress, a post held since January 3, 2005. Fortuño is the president of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (NPP). He is also a member of the United States Republican Party, and the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference and the Ranking Member of the newly-created House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs. Fortuño became the New Progressive Party's 2008 gubernatorial candidate after winning the NPP primary held on March 9, 2008 by a 3-to-2 margin.
While in college, Luis Fortuño co-founded the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association (PRSSA) with Kenneth McClintock and presided it from 1980 to 1981. During the 1980 gubernatorial election recount, the over 1,500 absentee ballots generated by PRSSA and Fortuño for incumbent Governor Carlos Romero Barceló was an important factor in his reelection by an approximately 3,000-vote margin. Fortuño was also active in other pro-statehood youth organizations and in the Republican Party.
He is married to attorney Luce Vela Gutierrez and has triplets, María Luisa, Luis Roberto and Guillermo, who were born in 1991.
Fortuño Burset was tasked with the development and implementation of large-scale reforms of Puerto Rico's tax, labor, corporate and commercial codes, aimed at facilitating business growth and job creation, reducing bureaucracy, and tax reform. Fortuño succeeded in the adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code, the revamping of the General Corporations Law, an aggressive investment package to jumpstart the tourism industry, and the largest tax cut in Puerto Rico's history.
Fortuño was named 1996 Man of the Year by Caribbean Business, 1995 Public Servant of the Year by the Marketing Industry and Distribution of Food and Beverage Products Association of Puerto Rico, 1994 Public Servant of the Year by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, and 1994 Distinguished Executive by the Sales and Marketing Executives Association of Ponce and the Southern Region of Puerto Rico. He served on numerous boards of directors, including the Ana G. Méndez University System and the Puerto Rico Museum of Art. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the Urban Land Institute.
In 1996, he served on the Platform Committee at the Republican National Convention, where he was successful in including the support for self-determination and eventual statehood for Puerto Rico in the party platform.
Fortuño resigned his cabinet posts after Rosselló's reelection in 1996 and returned to private law practice.
Following public service, Fortuño was a partner at the San Juan law firm of Correa, Collazo, Herrero, Jiménez & Fortuño specializing in corporate finance and real estate law. Prior to joining Correa, Collazo, Herrero, Jiménez & Fortuño, he was a partner at McConnell Valdés. He was briefly mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor of Puerto Rico in 1999 for the New Progressive Party after Governor Rosselló announced he would not seek a third term in the 2000 election cycle.
After winning the primary, he picked up momentum within the Republican Party ranks in the U.S. when he received the endorsement of Ed Gillespie, head of the Republican National Committee. Fortuño was the running mate of former Governor Rosselló, who returned for a third bid as the NPP's candidate for Governor.
In the elections of 2004, Fortuño was victorious (48.5% of votes) over his main rival candidate Roberto Prats (48% of votes) of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP). However, Fortuño's running mate Rosselló lost his bid for the governor's seat to then Resident Commissioner Aníbal Acevedo Vilá by less than 4,000 votes. This meant that Fortuño would be the Resident Commissioner under Governor Acevedo Vilá of the PDP. This is the first time in Puerto Rican history that the Governor of Puerto Rico and the Resident Commissioner are not from the same political party.
Fortuño was re-elected by the Republican Party of Puerto Rico's General Assembly to continue serving as National Committeeman, a position he has held since 2001. He won reelection as National Committeeman in the GOP convention held on May 20, 2007 in Yauco, Puerto Rico.
In 2007, Fortuño joined Rep. José Serrano (D-NY) and 128 other co-sponsors in filing HR 900, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act, to establish a self-determination process leading to political status change for Puerto Rico. The bill was amended and approved in a voice vote by the House's Committee on Resources on October 23, a major victory for Fortuño.
On February 19 2007, Fortuño Burset announced his candidacy for Governor of Puerto Rico for the 2008 general election. Fortuño Burset faced former 2004 running mate and former Gov. Pedro Juan Rosselló González in an NPP primary on March 9 2008 which he won by a 60% to 40% margin.
On May 18 2007 Fortuño announced that former Attorney General Pedro Pierluisi would be his running mate and run for Fortuño's current office of Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico. Pierluisi Urrutia was a classmate at Colegio Marista, a fellow member of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association and also a fellow cabinet member of Fortuño's during former Governor Rosselló's first term from 1993 to 1996.
On March 9 2008, Fortuño easily defeated Rosselló, becoming the new president of the NPP and its official candidate for Governor. Fortuño won the candidacy by obtaining nearly 60% of primary votes. Fortuño's running mate and now official candidate for Resident Commissioner, Pedro Pierluisi, also won his primary.