Tuesday, June 18, 2024

A guide to the governors’ races in Chiapas, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos

While the main focus of the upcoming elections is the presidential contest between Claudia Sheinbaum, Xóchitl Gálvez and Jorge Álvarez Máynez, Mexicans will in fact elect around 20,000 federal, state and municipal representatives on June 2.

In eight states, citizens will elect new governors to serve six-year terms that will conclude in 2030.

Two alliances are backing candidates in most of Mexico’s gubernatorial elections, while the Citizens Movement (MC) party is also fielding candidates.

One alliance is Sigamos Haciendo Historia (Let’s Keep Making History), made up of the Morena party, the Labor Party (PT) and the Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM).

The other is Fuerza y Corazón por México (Strength and Heart for Mexico), made up of the National Action Party (PAN), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD).

Of the eight states where citizens will elect new governors this year, Morena — the party founded by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — currently governs five, the PAN is in office in two and MC holds one.

Voters in Mexico City
Voters go to the polls on June 2, 2024 to choose not only a new president but new leaders in many other government positions. (Mario Jasso/Cuartoscuro.com)

Here’s a guide to the gubernatorial races in four of the eight states where new governors will be elected on June 2.

A guide to the contests in the four other states will be published on Mexico News Daily soon.

Chiapas

  • Population: 5.5 million.
  • Capital: Tuxtla Gutiérrez
  • Current governor: Rutlio Escandón (Morena)

Three candidates are vying to become the next governor of Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost and poorest state.

The state has recently been plagued by security problems, especially in areas near the border with Guatemala, where various crime groups including the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel have a presence.

Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar (Morena-PT-PVEM) 

Ramírez took leave as a federal senator to contest the gubernatorial election in Chiapas. He has previously served as a federal deputy, general secretary of the Chiapas state government and mayor of Comitán de Domínguez, where he was born in 1977.

🌐📱(Social media monitor): On his X account, the gubernatorial aspirant nicknamed “El Jaguar Negro (The Black Jaguar) has demonstrated ample support for the Morena candidates contesting other elections, including Claudia Sheinbaum.

With Sheinbaum as president, Chiapas will begin “a new era,” Ramírez said in one recent post.

Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar at a campaign rally
Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar (right) at a campaign rally on May 1. (Eduardo Ramírez/X)

In a post on X last month he said:

“I aspire to be governor, but I don’t want to be a governor who subjugates the people of Chiapas. I want to be a governor who walks side by side with the people of Chiapas, who holds up the dream of Chiapas, who feels the needs of the people of Chiapas.”

Olga Luz Espinosa Morales (PAN-PRI-PRD)

A former federal deputy for the PRD, Espinosa is aiming to become the first female governor of Chiapas. The 47-year-old candidate completed a law degree at the Autonomous University of Chiapas and has master’s degrees in education management and crime science.

Olga Luz Espinosa at a campaign rally
The PAN-PRI-PRD candidate Olga Luz Espinosa at a rally. She is aspiring to become the state’s first female governor. (Olga Luz Espinosa/X)

🌐📱: On her X account, Espinosa declared on Wednesday that “it’s time to return security and tranquility to the state, to support young people by promoting sport and to land resources to improve educational infrastructure so that students can receive a quality education.”

In a post on Tuesday, she said “it’s the time for women and we’re moving forward with strength and heart for Chiapas.”

Karla Irazema Muñoz (Citizens Movement)

The third candidate in the Chiapas gubernatorial contest is a former secretary general of the Mexican Society of Producers of Maguey for Pulque and Mezcal.

MC politicians at an event
Candidate Karla Irazema Muñoz with other MC officials. (Karla Irazema Muñoz/FB)

Muñoz also served as president of a citizens’ group called Nueva Esperanza de Paz y Prosperidad para Chiapas (New Hope for Peace and Prosperity for Chiapas). She has a degree in nursing.

🌐📱: In a recent post to her Facebook page, Muñoz asserted that “the south of our country” has been abandoned “for several six-year terms of government.”

In the same post, she said that a government she leads would build “new highway networks” to connect states in southern Mexico, provide support for the farming sector, offer scholarships to athletes and guarantee “quality education” for all children and “young people” in Chiapas.

Who’s going to win?

Polls show that Eduardo Ramírez has a commanding lead over his two rivals. Barring a major upset, he will win on June 2 and Morena will govern Chiapas for another six years.

Voters in Chiapas will also elect 40 state lawmakers and officials including mayors in 123 municipalities.

Guanajuato 

  • Population: 6.2 million.
  • Capital: Guanajuato
  • Current governor: Diego Sinhué Rodríguez Vallejo (National Action Party)

Three female candidates are competing to become the next governor of Guanajuato.

In 2018, Guanajuato was the only state in the country where Andrés Manuel López Obrador didn’t win the popular vote in the presidential election.

In recent years, it has been the most violent state in the country in terms of total homicides.

Libia García Muñoz Ledo (PAN-PRI-PRD)

Muñoz was a high ranking official in the current Guanajuato state government, serving as government secretary and minister for social and human development. The 40-year-old was previously a state deputy. A native of León, Muñoz has also worked as a lawyer.

Libia García Muñoz with Xóchitl Gálvez at a rally
Libia García (left) with the PAN-PRI-PRD presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez at a rally. (Libia Dennise/X)

🌐📱: “You are going to have a governor close to the causes of the people, who is ready to work for Guanajuato, who will demonstrate what it means to put one’s heart into every action,” says an ad posted to the candidate’s X account.

Muñoz has been campaigning heavily on the PAN’s health care record in Guanajuato.

“In Guanajuato we have the best health care system and we’re going to keep it that way,” she said in a post to X this week.

Alma Alcaraz Hernández (Morena-PT-PVEM)

Alcaraz has served as a federal deputy, and as a state deputy in Guanajuato and Sinaloa, where she grew up. She was affiliated with the PAN for almost two decades before joining Morena in 2015 and going on to become the leader of the party in Guanajuato. She has an accounting degree.

Alma Alcaraz with supporters
Alma Alcaraz used to be a member of the PAN party, before joining Morena in 2015. (Alma Alcaraz/X)

🌐📱: In a post to her X account on Sunday, Alcaraz wrote:

“With a massive vote on June 2 for Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum and all of Morena, Guanajuato will go from rivalry with the federal government to common results.

From insecurity and inequality to shared prosperity. #Let’sGoGuanajuato! You now have the future in your hands.”

Yulma Rocha Aguilar (Citizens Movement)

A recent addition to the Citizens Movement party’s ranks, Rocha has served as a federal deputy for the PRI. She took leave as a state lawmaker to contest the gubernatorial election. A native of Irapuato, Rocha served as a municipal councilor in that city. She has a degree in public administration.

🌐📱: “Guanajuato doesn’t end in the industrial corridor,” she wrote in a post to her X account this week.

“WE NEED to focus on a COMPLETE strategy for municipalities of the northeastern region like San José Iturbide,” Rocha added.

Yulma Rocha with supporters
Yulma Rocha is originally from Irapuato and is running on the Citizens Movement ticket. (Yulma Rocha/X)

“I’m going to take charge of making Guanajuato a SAFE state for women,” the candidate said in another post.

Who’s going to win?

Libia García is ahead of the polls, but Alma Alcaraz isn’t too far behind. Guanajuato has been a PAN stronghold for around three decades (former PAN president Vicente Fox was governor in the late 1990s) and the party will most likely remain in power for the next six years.

Voters in Guanajuato will also elect 36 state state deputies and officials including mayors in all 46 municipalities.

Jalisco

  • Population: 8.3 million.
  • Capital: Guadalajara
  • Current governor: Enrique Alfaro Ramírez  (Citizens Movement)

The gubernatorial election in Jalisco is another three-person contest.

Jalisco is Mexico’s second most populous state (after México state) and home to the country’s second city, Guadalajara.

Current Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez was touted as a possible presidential candidate for the MC. His predecessor, PRI governor Aristóteles Sandoval, was shot dead in Puerto Vallarta in late 2020.

Pablo Lemus Navarro (Citizens Movement) 

Like Governor Alfaro did before him, Lemus is aiming to use the mayorship of Guadalajara as a springboard to the governorship of Jalisco. The 54-year-old Guadalajara native served as mayor of the Jalisco capital from October 2021 to October 2023. Lemus also served as president of the Jalisco branch of the Mexican Employers Federation, and has also worked as a radio presenter.

🌐📱: Lemus has frequently used his X account to share poll results that show he is on track to win the June 2 gubernatorial election in Jalisco.

Pablo Lemus at a press conference
Pablos Lemus (center) was previously the mayor of Guadalajara from 2021 to 2023. (Pablo Lemus/X)

“Jalisco is and will continue being orange [MC’s political color] because the jaliscienses know what is best for our state and trust our team and project,” he wrote on X on Thursday above an image showing that he has a nine-point lead over the Morena candidate, according to a recent newspaper poll.

Earlier this week, Lemus sought to portray himself as a champion of women.

“I’ve always felt profound respect and admiration for women. … We’ll continue working side by side to provide them the support and opportunities they deserve,” he wrote on X.

Claudia Delgadillo González (Morena-PT-PVEM)

Delgadillo has served as a state and federal deputy, and as a councilor in the municipal government of Guadalajara. She was affiliated with the PRI before joining Morena. The tapatía, or Guadalajara native, completed a law degree at the University of Guadalajara and has worked as a law professor.

🌐📱: “What we want for Jalisco is wellbeing for everyone,” Delgadillo wrote on her X account on Thursday.

“With education, health and security. The #TrueChange is about to arrive!” she added.

Claudia Delgadillo with Morena president Mario Delgado
The candidate for Morena in Jalisco, Claudia Delgadillo (center), is seen here with Morena party president Mario Delgado. (Claudia Delgadillo/X)

On Wednesday, Delgadillo claimed to be ahead of the other two gubernatorial candidates “in all the serious polls.”

The result of one poll she posted showed she was narrowly leading Lemus.

Laura Haro Ramírez (PAN-PRI-PRD)

Haro took leave as a federal deputy to contest the gubernatorial election in Jalisco for the PAN-PRI-PRD alliance. The 36-year-old has a law degree and served as a councilor in the municipality of Zapopan. She worked as an official in the PRI national executive committee before entering federal Congress in 2021.

Laura Haro
Haro has said she will bring a government of “solutions, not promises.” (Laura Haro/X)

🌐📱: On Wednesday, Haro took to her X account to launch an attack on current political leaders in Jalisco.

“In Jalisco, our leaders suffer from an illness that alters their perception of reality and makes them think that everything is ‘well and good.’ Nothing could be further from the truth that we live every day in our state. The good thing is that [the current leaders] are on their way out and they’re going to take their frivolity far away from our people,” she wrote.

In another post, Haro said that a government she leads will be one “of solutions, not promises.”

“I have the will and the conviction to give Jalisco the leader it deserves,” she added.

Who’s going to win?

The gubernatorial election in Jalisco looks set to be a close race between Lemus and Delgadillo, but the former will most likely prevail.

The “poll of polls” published by the news website Expansión Política currently shows Lemus leading Delgadillo by three points with Haro in a distant third place.

Voters in Jalisco will also elect 38 state deputies and officials including mayors in the state’s 125 municipalities.

Morelos 

  • Population: 2 million
  • Capital: Cuernavaca
  • Current governor: Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Morena) – currently on leave as he campaigns for a seat in the lower house of Congress.

Three women are aiming to succeed former soccer star Cuauhtémoc Blanco as governor of Morelos, a small state located to the immediate south of Mexico City. Like many of Mexico’s states, Morelos has had its fair share of security problems. Despite its small population, it was the country’s eighth most violent state last year in terms of total homicides.

Margarita González Saravia (Morena-PT-PVEM) 

Morena’s candidate served as minister of tourism and culture for two years in the Morelos government led by Blanco before taking up the position of general director of Mexico’s National Lottery. She has been involved in a number of leftist political groups over the years and was previously affiliated with the PRD.

Morena candidate for governor
Margarita González is the Morena candidate for governor in Morelos. (Margarita González/X)

🌐📱: In a campaign ad posted to her X account, González says that a government she leads will implement a program to “attract investment in all sectors.”

In the same ad, she also pledges to establish an “Institute of the Entrepreneur” to “help young people create their own companies.”

“We’re going to strengthen the farming sector, technological development and tourism,” González adds.

Lucía Meza Guzmán (PAN-PRI-PRD)

Meza was elected to the federal Senate on a Morena ticket in 2018, but she quit that party in late 2023 after she wasn’t included in its selection process to find a candidate for the Morelos gubernatorial election. She subsequently joined the PRI and was selected as the candidate for the coalition of which it is part. Meza has also served as a state and federal deputy. She has degrees in public administration and law, and a master’s in public security and public policy.

🌐📱: “In my government, the active participation of civil society will be fundamental to together build a better Morelos,” Meza said in a post to her X account earlier this week.

Lucia Meza, candidate for the PAN-PRI-PRD in Morelos
Lucia Meza was a member of the Morena party until 2023. (Lucia Meza/X)

In another post, she said that a government she leads would create industrial parks that run on clean energy.

“We’ll work hand in hand with industry in Morelos to boost the use of clean technologies,” Meza said.

Jessica Ortega de la Cruz (Citizens Movement)

Ortega has served as a federal and state deputy and held a number of administrative roles within Citizens Movement. The 45-year-old native of the Morelos municipality of Jiutepec has been a member of MC for over 25 years. She has undergraduate and master’s degrees in law.

Jessica Ortega talks to a supporter at an April campaign event in Tepotzlán, Morelos.
Jessica Ortega talks to a supporter at an April campaign event in Tepotzlán, Morelos. (Jessica Ortega/Facebook)

🌐📱: “Living with fear is not living,” Ortega said in a post to her X account this week.

“Morelos deserves to leave behind the insecurity crisis that the failed strategies of bad governments have caused. In Citizens Movement, we have a plan to end insecurity and to live free without fear,” she wrote.

In another X post, Ortega said that a government she leads would build new water infrastructure and develop a comprehensive transport plan for the entire state of Morelos.

Who’s going to win?

Polls indicate that the gubernatorial election in Morelos will be a tight contest between González and Meza. The Morena candidate has 48% support while the PAN-PRI-PRD aspirant has 43% support, according to this week’s update to the “poll of polls” published on the Polls.mx website. González’s advantage over Meza has recently narrowed, but at this stage it appears likely that she will win the June 2 election, allowing Morena to continue governing in Morelos.

Voters in Morelos will also elect 20 state deputies and officials including mayors in 33 municipalities.

* Another key contest on June 2 is the Mexico City mayoral election. Read about the candidates contesting that election here, and check out what the polls indicate here.

All of Mexico News Daily’s 2024 elections coverage, including numerous articles on the presidential election, can be found here.

By Mexico News Daily chief staff writer Peter Davies ([email protected])

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