The Nayarit “mayor who only stole a little” from the public coffers of San Blas has confirmed his political intentions: he’s running for governor.
Mayor Hilario “Layín” Ramírez Villanueva yesterday dispelled any doubts about those intentions by formally requesting his registration as an independent candidate.
In true “Layín” fashion, the mayor was accompanied by bands playing corrido and banda music, dozens of citizens from the 20 municipalities of the state, social leaders and former members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) during his visit to the state electoral institute offices, reported the newspaper Milenio.
“I have no political enemies, I have no enemies, let them look into my past,” said Ramírez.
His two terms as mayor of San Blas have been marked by scandals and lavish celebrations. During his first term, while still affiliated with the National Action Party (PAN), he was accused of stealing funds from the municipal coffers.
The scandal was enough for the party to expel Ramírez from its ranks.
But the man who went on to become the first independent mayor of San Blas when he was reelected in 2014 replied during his election campaign that he had “only stolen a little” because the municipality had hardly any money to begin with, a statement that earned international attention.
Enthroned as a favorite of the people and media alike, Ramírez played the part. During his 15-million-peso birthday party in 2015, the 44-year-old politician and owner of a mango packaging plant took to the dance floor and lifted the skirt of a teenage girl who was dancing with him, sparking a litany of criticism.
Late last year he made the headlines again when he turned up at Rubí Ibarra García’s viral sensation of a quinceañera party in December in La Joya, San Luis Potosí.
There, the generous mayor presented García with a 135,000-peso Chevrolet Spark.
His latest birthday celebration, held in January, was estimated to have cost 5 million pesos with no clear indication who paid for it. Among the guests, presumably uninvited, were officials from the National Electoral Institute, their visit triggered by denunciations from the leaders of various political parties who saw the event as election campaign-related.
If Ramirez’ candidacy is accepted by the state electoral authority — he must demonstrate support from 2% of voters — the people of Nayarit will probably be in for four months of the colorful mayor’s own particular style of political campaigning, described by the newspaper El Universal last October as throwing parties for the people in the various municipalities and “throwing 20 and 50-peso bills to those in attendance.”
The election is scheduled for June 4.