Thomas Rivera Schatz

Thomas Rivera Schatz (born June 10, 1966) is a Puerto Rican politician, legal advisor, attorney, and former prosecutor, who was the fourteenth and sixteenth President of the Senate of Puerto Rico. He is affiliated with New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (abbr. PNP in Spanish) and the mainland Republican Party. On July 22, 2019, Rivera Schatz announced that he will take over as acting chair of the PNP following the resignation of Ricardo Rosselló due to the Telegramgate scandal.

Thomas Rivera Schatz
Minority Leader of the Puerto Rico Senate
Assumed office
January 2, 2021
Preceded byEduardo Bhatia
President of the New Progressive Party
In office
July 22, 2019 – August 16, 2020
Preceded byRicardo Rosselló
Succeeded byPedro Pierluisi
14th and 16th President of the Puerto Rico Senate
In office
January 9, 2017 – January 2, 2021
Preceded byEduardo Bhatia
Succeeded byJosé Luis Dalmau
In office
January 2, 2009 – January 1, 2013
Preceded byKenneth McClintock
Succeeded byEduardo Bhatia
Member of the Puerto Rico Senate
from the at-large district
Assumed office
January 2, 2009
Personal details
Born (1966-06-10) June 10, 1966 (age 55)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyNew Progressive
Other political
RelativesJosé Rivera Díaz (father)
EducationInteramerican University, San Juan (BA, JD)

Early life and studiesEdit

Rivera Schatz was born on June 10, 1966, in the Bronx Borough of New York City. He is the son of José A. "Nía" Rivera, a past mayor of Trujillo Alto, and Christina Schatz, a German woman.[1] While in college, he worked full-time at the City of San Juan Public Works Department. He attended the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law, where he graduated in 1992. A year later, he passed the bar exam required to practice law in Puerto Rico.[2]

Rivera Schatz started his legal career as a legal advisor in the Senate and House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. In 1996, Governor Pedro Rosselló appointed him as a prosecutor at the Puerto Rico Department of Justice. After finishing his service as a prosecutor, he returned to private practice, handling both criminal and civil cases.

Political careerEdit

Electoral Commissioner and Secretary General: 2000-2007Edit

In 2000, Rivera Schatz was named Electoral Commissioner for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (PNP).

Two years later, party president Pedro Rosselló named Rivera Schatz as secretary general of the PNP in addition to his current position as electoral commissioner. He served both positions simultaneously until August 1, 2007, when he decided to run for senator.

Senator: 2008-presentEdit

Rivera Schatz ran for senator at the PNP primaries where he won a slot in the ballot, receiving the second-most votes. In the 2008 general elections, Rivera Schatz was elected senator. His fellow senators then elected him to be the 14th president of Puerto Rico's Senate. As such, he selected the following persons for his team:

  • Senator Margarita Nolasco as Senate President Pro tempore
  • Senator Larry Seilhamer as majority leader
  • Senator Melinda Romero as Majority Whip
  • Roberto "Junior" Maldonado as chief administrative officer of the Senate.
  • Senate Secretary Manuel A. Torres was nominated by Rivera Schatz and reelected to a second term, becoming the first Senate secretary to serve under two different Senate Presidents
  • Incumbent Superintendent of the Capitol, Eliezer Velázquez, was nominated by Rivera Schatz and ratified by House Speaker Jennifer González for a second term, a first for a superintendent.

Rivera Schatz was sworn into his post on January 12, 2009.

Thomas Rivera Schatz was reelected in 2012 and elected for the third time as a member of the Senate majority in the 2016 election with 10.33% of the "at large" votes, placing him in second place after independent senatorial candidate Dr. José Vargas Vidot and followed by Juan Dalmau of the Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP).[3] Rivera Schatz was elected to a second term as President of the Senate of Puerto Rico starting January 2017.[4] He holds two records, first as the only reelected Senate President during the past 28 years and the only Senate President ever elected as such to non-consecutive terms.

PNP PresidentEdit

On July 22, 2019, Rivera Schatz announced he would succeed Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló as head of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (PNP).[5] Rosselló announced his intention to resign due to the ongoing controversy surrounding Telegramgate.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Rivera Schatz and his father are avid collectors of antique cars.[7][8]


  1. ^ "El Vocero de Puerto Rico".
  2. ^ "Hon. THOMAS RIVERA SCHATZ". 2009-08-29. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  3. ^ "CEE Event". 2016-11-10. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Thomas Rivera Schatz regresa a la presidencia del Senado".
  5. ^ "Thomas Rivera Schatz se autoproclama presidente del PNP". Primera Hora. July 22, 2019.
  6. ^ Tacopino, Joe (2019-07-21). "Puerto Rico governor will not seek reelection amid texting scandal". New York Post. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  7. ^ Rivera Schatz "quema la fiebre" en Pennsylvania on El Nuevo Día; Rosario, Frances (October 2, 2010)
  8. ^ Detras del político Archived 2013-12-06 at the Wayback Machine on El Vocero; Méndez, Milly (February 11, 2011)

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Kenneth McClintock
President of the Puerto Rico Senate
Succeeded by
Eduardo Bhatia
Preceded by
Eduardo Bhatia
President of the Puerto Rico Senate
Succeeded by
José Luis Dalmau
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ricardo Rosselló
Chair of the Puerto Rico New Progressive Party

Succeeded by
Pedro Pierluisi
Senate of Puerto Rico
Preceded by
Eduardo Bhatia
Minority Leader of the Puerto Rico Senate