ORLANDO, Fla. — Pedro Pierluisi, picked by embattled former Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to succeed him, has been sworn in as the island's new governor.
- Puerto Rico Gov. Rosselló officially stepped down Friday
- His hand picked successor, Pedro Pierluisi, was sworn in
- Many were overjoyed by movement to force Rossello out of office
- RELATED: WATCH: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Says He'll Resign
Puerto Ricans in Central Florida feel uneasy about the future but are excited about this historic moment as the first sitting Puerto Rico governor has stepped down.
Rosselló officially resigned Friday evening after announcing in late July that he'd step down in response to a crisis caused by a series of leaked, profanity-laced private messages between Rosselló and a group of aides.
As outrage spread over the leaked messages, Rosselló publicly apologized, but protests roiled the island. Rosselló initially refused to step down, saying he wouldn't rerun for office. But as the crisis reached a fever pitch, he announced in a late-night Facebook video that he would resign.
Jimmy Torres, the president of Boricua Vota, a nonprofit that encourages the Hispanic community to vote, said he's proud of his countrymen.
"It's a great day for every civic person in the world, especially Puerto Ricans," Torres said.
Many were overjoyed over the success of the movement to force Rosselló out of office.
"The way it all happened was different because it started from a leaked chat that exposed our corrupt government leaders," said Mildred Rodrigues, who was affected by Hurricane Maria.
Rodrigues was deeply hurt by the contents of the leaked chats between Rosselló, who she voted for, and his inner circle. She and her family suffered during Hurricane Maria and went months without power.
"Whoever is the new governor needs to be loved by the people of Puerto Rico. If they mistreat us, then we'll protest. We won't accept being treated like third-class citizens," she continued.
The movement is sure to spark profound changes on the island.
"We learned how to protest, and now we need to learn how to vote," Torres said.