MIAMI (AP) – The arrival of more than than 130,000 Puerto Ricans in Florida since Hurricane Maria has some officials anticipating a political shakeup in a battleground state dominated by the Republican party.
Both parties are actively courting new arrivals to Florida, which President Donald Trump won last year by 112,000 votes out of 9.6 million cast.
Many Puerto Ricans have expressed outrage over Trump’s handling of the storm but have applauded efforts by Republican Gov. Rick Scott to welcome them.
As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans can vote in federal elections when they move to the mainland. Newcomers must register as voters by next July 30 to vote in primaries ahead of the 2018 general election of a new governor to replace term-limited Scott and choose Florida’s congressional delegation.