Fortuño Portrait Goes Up at Fortaleza

caribbeanbusinesspr.com, December 21, 2012

A portrait of outgoing Gov. Luis Fortuño has been hung with the oil paintings of other former Puerto Rico governors at La Fortaleza.

The work is by Tennessee-born artist Michael Shane Neal, who has done previous paintings of U.S. leaders including former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Pennsylvania Sen. Arleen Specter and Florida Sen. Bill Frist.

The portrait of Fortuño was paid for through private donations, according to La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Miguel Romero, who said previous portraits of former governors were commissioned with public funds.

Fortuño, a member of the statehood New Progressive Party and a national Republican, narrowly lost his re-election bid to Popular Democratic Party challenger Alejandro García Padilla in November. The new governor will be sworn in on Jan. 2.

Fortuño, 52, told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS in an exit interview that he is sorting through several opportunities from throughout the U.S. mainland and Europe. He hinted that he will likely relocate to the mainland, probably to the Washington, D.C. area, regardless of which of the many opportunities he decides to pursue, although he expects to take on more than one initiative at once.

Fortuño, touted as a rising star in the Republican Party, previously served two terms in Washington as Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner, the island’s lone representative in Congress.