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José Luis Dalmau Santiago (born September 19, 1966) is a Puerto Rican attorney, politician and Senator. He is the current assistant party leader of the Popular Democratic Party in the Senate of Puerto Rico.

Hon. José Luis Dalmau Santiago
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Minority Whip of the Senate of Puerto Rico
Assumed office
January 2, 2017
GovernorRicardo Rosselló
Preceded byCarmelo Ríos Santiago
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22nd President pro tempore of the Puerto Rico Senate
In office
January 2, 2013 – December 31, 2016
GovernorAlejandro Garcia Padilla
Preceded byMargarita Nolasco
Succeeded byLarry Seilhamer
Seal of Puerto Rico Senate.svg
Minority Speaker of the Senate of Puerto Rico
In office
January 2, 2005 – December 31, 2012
GovernorAníbal Acevedo Vilá Luis Fortuño
Preceded byKenneth McClintock
Succeeded byLarry Seilhamer
Member of the Puerto Rico Senate
from the Humacao district
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Majority Speaker of the Senate of Puerto Rico
In office
January 2, 2001 – December 31, 2004
GovernorSila M. Calderón
Preceded byJosé Enrique Meléndez
Succeeded byJorge De Castro Font
Assumed office
2001-2008; 2013
Preceded byLuis Felipe Navas Carlos Dávila López
Member of the Senate of Puerto Rico from the At-Large District
In office
Personal details
Born (1966-09-19) September 19, 1966 (age 52)
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Political partyPopular Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Margie R. Rosario Lugo
ChildrenJosé Luis
José Juan
Alma materUniversity of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras (B.A.)
Eugenio María de Hostos Law School in Mayagüez (J.D.)
ProfessionPolitician, Attorney


Early years and studiesEdit

José Luis Dalmau Santiago was born on September 19, 1966 in Caguas, Puerto Rico to José Luis Dalmau Rodríguez and Diana Iris Santiago Casanova. He attended elementary through high school at Colegio Católico Notre Dame in Caguas, graduating in 1984. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Natural Science with a Major in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. In 1997, he received his Juris Doctor from the Facultad de Derecho Eugenio Maria de Hostos.

Political careerEdit

First years in politicsEdit

Dalmau began his political career as a teenager when he served as interim president of the Popular Youth in Caguas. After that, he worked for the campaigns of Mayors Angel O. Berríos and then Willie Miranda Marín, as well as the campaigns for the 1993 and 1994 referendums. He also served at the Electoral Colleges during various elections, 1988, 1992 and 1996, and served at the Electoral College during various referendums, 1991, 1993 and 1994.

From 1991 to 1992, Dalmau served as Special Aide to Speaker of the House José Ronaldo Jarabo, and then as an aide to Representative Juan Corujo Collazo. He also worked as legal counsel to the Office of Legal Affairs of the Municipality of Caguas and former deputy director of "Campamento de Orgullo Criollo" that was developed for young school dropouts in Caguas.

Senator: 2000-presentEdit

He was elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico on November 7, 2000 at the age of 34, representing the District of Humacao along with his running mate, Sixto Hernández. In 2001, he was selected unanimously by his fellow senators to the Senate Majority Leader during his freshman term under the twelfth President of the Senate, Antonio Fas Alzamora. During that term, he also presided the Commission of Rules and Scheduling, as well as the Housing Commission and the Special Commission for the Legislative Reform.

On November 2, 2004 he was reelected to the Senate of Puerto Rico, representing the District of Humacao despite the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico's defeat at the 2004 elections, and he was elected to the role of being the floor leader of the PPD delegation. While a minority in the Senate, his delegation represented the executive branch's interests in that legislative body, after PPD gubernatorial candidate Aníbal Acevedo Vilá narrowly beat former Governor Pedro Rosselló after a hotly contested post-election court challenge.

In 2006, Dalmau's running mate, Hernández, was nominated by Gov. Acevedo Vilá as an appeals judge. After being confirmed in the Senate, Hernández was replaced by Jorge Suárez Cáceres. Although both were defeated at the 2008 general elections, they gained seats as a result of the Minority Law in the Constitution of Puerto Rico.[1] At the end of his term in 2012, he became the third senator to get elected for 3 consecutive terms as a party spokesman in the Senate, equaling the record with Luis Negrón López and Gilberto Rivera Ortiz. In addition, he became the fourth senator to be elected Speaker for 12 years, joining Ruben Berrios of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP).

On November 6, 2012 he was elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico, representing again the District of Humacao, along with his running mate, Jorge Suárez Cáceres. In 2013, he became Vice President of the Senate of Puerto Rico during his fourth term under the fifteenth President of the Senate, Eduardo Bhatia Gautier. During term, he presided over the Commission of Health and Nutrition, as well as Special Commission to investigate the implementation of the "Programa Comprensivo de Desarrollo Profesional para Certificación y Re-Certificación por Materia de Enseñanza" (CRECE-21).

Personal lifeEdit

José Luis Dalmau is married to Margie Rosario Lugo. They have two children together: José Luis and José Juan.

Several of Dalmau's relatives are also involved in politics. His cousin Juan Dalmau, is one of the leaders of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) and their candidate for Governor in 2008, and subsequently a Senator At-Large. Another cousin, Carlos Dalmau, was in charge of Acevedo Vilá's campaign. Another relative, Daly Dalmau, was married to former Mayor of Carolina, José Aponte de la Torre. After Aponte's death, he was succeeded by Dalmau's cousin, José Aponte Dalmau. In 2012, his other cousin and brother of the Mayor of Carolina, Javier Aponte Dalmau, was elected member of Puerto Rico House of Representative from 38th District, Carolina, Trujillo Alto and Canovanas. Also, Dalmau's brother, Ulises, competed in the 2008 PPD Primaries to become Representative At-Large, but failed to be elected.