Electioneering kicks off today in three different races for governor amidst expectations in political parties of which way the voting winds are blowing nowadays.
Each of the three states where a dogged competition is expected has a very different political nature, starting with territory size and the number of the voting population, as well as the ideological diversities that gives each of them a very different complex political rainbow.
The three states are Nayarit, on the Pacific Coast, Coahuila at the Texas border and the State of Mexico, part of the Mexico City metropolitan area. They have some similarities because in all cases political parties are the same but in the end they are three different elections in three different regions of the nation.
In theory, Nayarit would be the least complicated of the three states but recent events have shaken it up, placing the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in peril of losing the election. Just last week the state Prosecutor Edgar Veytia was arrested in San Diego and transferred to New York where he is imprisoned without bail because — lo and behold — he’s accused of being a drug kingpin associated with several Mexican drug cartels.
Ever since Veytia was appointed by current PRI member Gov. Roberto Sandoval, the PRI ruling party had very little chance of victory. More so now that the National Action Party (PAN) and Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) have launched the joint candidacy of Antonio Echeverría, best known as “Junior,” given his families deep roots in the state.
PRI candidate Manuel Cota is nowadays the underdog and is being chased not just by “Junior” Echeverría but also by Raúl Mejía of the Citizens’ Movement (MC), Miguel Ángel Navarro Quintero of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) and independent candidate and San Blas Mayor Hilario Ramírez.
The obvious forecast for winner is that of “Junior” Echereverría in this “small” state, both in size and the number of voters.
It must be pointed out that in Coahuila and the State of Mexico no other party other than PRI has governed for 90 years. The control PRI has had over Coahuila and the State of Mexico has been strict and PRI candidates are also strong nowadays but even if in size Coahuila is a lot larger in terms of votes it only has 2.5 million registered voters while the State of Mexico boasts a whopping 11.4 million voters.
Miguel Riquelme is the PRI candidate for Coahuila governor and currently leads the polls with a slight advantage over PAN candidate Guillermo Anaya, but nobody is declaring him “favorite” as of now as, beside these two candidates, former PRI member and capitalist turned leftist but very popular mining entrepreneur Armando Guadiana is also in the race. Besides them, there’s a long list of independent candidates who have little or no chance of winning but their names will be on the ballots when election-day comes on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
Then there’s the State of Mexico election which is considered by all parties “the crown jewel” for more reasons than the 11.4 million votes at stake.
At present, beating PRI candidate Alfredo del Mazo is the objective of three opposing candidates: PAN’s Josefina Vázquez Mota, Morena’s Delfina Gómez and PRD’s Juan Zepeda.
At present in the polls there’s a “technical draw” between Alfredo del Mazo and Josefina Vázquez Mota but Delfina Gómez is running close behind and trailing way down is Zepeda.
A good reason for the parties opposing Del Mazo to win this election is not just “defeating the unbeatable PRI” but also to give President Enrique Peña Nieto a political black eye because a defeat in the State of Mexico would mean a repudiation of Peña Nieto’s mandate as he was once governor of that state.
It also would mean a very bad omen for Peña Nieto’s PRI for next year’s presidential elections.
Besides the post for governors in the three states at hand there are elections for 270 municipal mayors, 34 for relative majority federal deputies and 21 for electoral proportional deputy seats, according to data issued by the National Electoral Institute (INE), which is overseeing the organization of the elections.
There is a fourth election in Veracruz for municipal mayors but it is also slated for June 4; electoral competition will start officially on May 1.
But for now, candidates will romp and stomp all over their states and it is time to turn on the fans not just because it is a warm spring, but because there is a lot of mud to sling around.