One outcome for which the 2015 mid-term elections will be remembered was the election Sunday of six independent candidates, from a governor to congressmen and mayors.
The most notable win was that of Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, “El Bronco,” who swept to victory in the race for governor of Nuevo León with 49% of the vote.
Another was the election of the new mayor of Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacán. Forty-year-old Alfonso Martínez Alcázar, a 22-year member of the National Action Party (PAN), abandoned party politics and went on to win the mayor’s office with 27% of the vote in this city of 730,000 people.
In Sinaloa, voters chose an independent to serve in the House of Deputies. Manuel Clouthier, another former PAN member, will represent Culiacán after winning with 42% of the vote.
In García, Nuevo León, a municipality where El Bronco was mayor from 2009 until 2012, his former assistant, César Valdés, ran as an independent and picked up 41% voter support.
A young independent candidate for local Deputy in the state legislature of Jalisco, Pedro Kumamoto, garnered 38% of the vote to represent Zapopan, and in Comonfort, Guanajuato, 29% of voters chose Alberto Méndez to serve as mayor.
It was a historic election, being the first time that independent candidates were permitted to run for office; 121 did so.
And the independents did well. Twenty-two ran for federal Deputy and collectively they earned 9% of the vote, more than the national vote won by the leftist party Morena, the Green Ecologist Party and others.
President Peña Nieto, whose administration introduced the electoral reforms that opened the slate to candidates without parties, celebrated the independents’ win during a speech on Tuesday.
“With [reform] our democracy has been revitalized. Not only do citizens have more options, but the political parties are now going to have to modernize, be more open and be more competitive,” said the president.
Peña Nieto also remarked on another change in the makeup of Mexican politics: the preliminary results indicate that 117 women have been elected to the Chamber of Deputies, 44% more than in 2012.
Source: CNN (sp)