Sunday, June 16, 2024

Mexico’s 3 presidential hopefuls publish first campaign ads

Mexico’s presidential election “pre-campaign” period officially began Monday, 195 days before citizens go to the polls to elect a successor to Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

While they have plenty of time to sell themselves to voters ahead of the June 2, 2024 election, the three confirmed presidential hopefuls all got off to a running start, holding “pre-campaign” launch events in different cities around the country.

Xochitl Chihuahua
Candidates have been holding rallies across Mexico as the election season begins to ramp up. Here, Xóchitl Gálvez speaks to supporters in Chihuahua. (Xóchitl Gálvez/X)

Claudia Sheinbaum, Xóchitl Gálvez and Samuel García also promptly released their first promotional commercials, known in Mexico as “spots.”

Let’s take a look at how the presidential aspirants – presented here in alphabetical order by surname – are attempting to connect with voters and position themselves as the best choice for the nation next June.

Xóchitl Gálvez Ruiz – Broad Front for Mexico (PAN, PRI, PRD)

The candidate for the Broad Front for Mexico (FAM), an opposition bloc made up of the National Action Party (PAN), the Institutional Revolution Party (PRI) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), gives an overview of her life story in a 71-second commercial posted to social media on Monday.

Xóchitl Gálvez at a forum
Xóchitl Gálvez is the opposition for the Broad Front for Mexico, comprised of the nations traditional ruling powers. (Jorge Ortega/Cuartoscuro)

“I was born here in Tepatepec, Hidalgo, 60 years ago,” begins Gálvez, who has Indigenous Otomí ancestry.

“At the age of eight, I sold the famous Jell-Os here to help my family,” she says, emphasizing her humble beginnings in life as she stands outside the Tepatepec market.

Gálvez, a PAN senator currently on leave from that position, goes on to recount her departure from Hidalgo to “try her luck” in Mexico City.

No manches [holy crap], arriving at the age of 17 to live here in [the sprawling borough of] Iztapalapa was a great challenge,” says the FAM candidate, who is well known for her use of colloquial language.

Continuing a tour of her past, Gálvez appears in front of the National Autonomous University Faculty of Engineering where she studied computer engineering and a building where the smart buildings entrepreneur began her “dream to be a businesswoman.”

“My life’s cause has been Indigenous peoples,” adds the presidential aspirant, who headed up Mexico’s Indigenous affairs agency during the presidency of Vicente Fox (2000-06).

Gálvez subsequently acknowledges that her 2010 tilt at the governorship of her home state of Hidalgo was unsuccessful, but notes that she did win the mayoral election in the Mexico City of Miguel Hidalgo in 2015.

Toward the end of the “spot,” she reminds voters that as a senator she voted in favor of enshrining the old-age pension and government social programs in the constitution, seeking to debunk claims from President López Obrador and others that she is anti-welfare.

“This is the door that I knocked on and wasn’t opened for me,” Gálvez says, referring to her attempt to confront López Obrador at one of his morning press conferences at the National Palace earlier this year.

“But millions of Mexicans opened their doors to me. Thanks to them, today I want to be your candidate and together we’re going to open the doors of the [National] Palace for everyone,” she says before the commercial ends with a voice-over of the slogan “Xóchitl, strong like you!”

Samuel García Sepúlveda – Citizens Movement

“I’m Samuel García,” the Nuevo León governor proclaims confidently in his maiden pre-campaign commercial as he walks through a public park.

Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Garcia
Popular Nuevo León Governor Samuel García is an outlier in the presidential race, having made a late entrance to proceedings. (Samuel Garcia/Twitter)

“There are those who say I’m a meme,” the Citizens Movement (MC) party “pre-candidate” continues, acknowledging that some Mexicans don’t take him seriously.

“What they don’t tell you is that I defeated the old politics of Nuevo León,” García says, referring to rule of the PRI and the PAN in the northern border state.

“There are those who say I’m a Whitexican, the one [who spoke about] the low salary of 50,000 pesos [per month],” he adds, mentioning his remark in 2020 that there are people who are “happy” despite earning what he considered to be a miserly wage.

“What they don’t tell you is that we reduced extreme poverty by half.”

García, who was a federal senator before he became governor, also acknowledges that he is known for scolding his wife, influencer Mariana Rodríguez, for “showing too much leg” in a 2020 Instagram live conversation between the pair.

“Yes, I made a mistake and I’m still learning,” he says, adding that “what they don’t tell you” is that he is the first governor in the history of Nuevo León to have a cabinet with more women than men.

“There are those who say that I’m always traveling. What they don’t tell you is that in just two years we brought US $42 billion in foreign investment [to Nuevo León],” says the 35-year-old who has made several trips abroad to court companies such as Tesla and Kawasaki.

“… There are those who say that I’m very new, and yes, in that, they’re right. I’m the one with new ideas, the one [attracting] new investment and the one with new ways of doing politics,” asserts García, who is set to take a six-month leave of absence of governor from early December to focus on his presidential dream.

“The new thing is to make the impossible possible. And if you don’t believe me, ask Nuevo León,” he concludes.

Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo – Morena, PT, PVEM

“Mexico is being reborn with shared prosperity, with democracy, rights and freedoms, with investment for well-being,” the 61-year-old former Mexico City mayor and presidential frontrunner declares in her first pre-campaign “spot.”

Claudia Sheinbaum, former mayor of Mexico City and Morena candidate for president in 2024. (Cuartoscuro)

With that opening, Sheinbaum, who will represent the ruling Morena party as well as the Labor Party (PT) and the Green Party (PVEM), effectively says that López Obrador – her political mentor – already has Mexico on the right track.

“Security is provided with justice. We don’t want to make peace with corruption and privileges. Returning to the past is not an option,” she continues, implying that she will perpetuate the process of “transformation” the current president and his government claim to be undertaking.

In contrast to her rivals, Sheinbaum doesn’t dominate screen time in her first pre-campaign commercial. Instead, numerous “everyday” Mexicans appear as the Morena presidential hopeful speaks.

The apparent aim? To show that she – as AMLO frequently claims to be – is a champion of the ordinary people of Mexico (rather than an advocate for the rich and powerful) and thus their logical choice next June.

“The greatness of Mexico is in our people, culture and history,” says Sheinbaum, a physicist and environmental scientist who was environment minister in Mexico City when López Obrador was mayor in the early 2000s.

“I’m proud to be part of the transformation, proud to be Mexican! Let’s keep building the best Mexico possible,” she concludes.

Polls show that Sheinbaum, who has already released a number of other “spots,” is a clear favorite to win the election next June and become Mexico’s first female president.

A recent poll conducted by the El Financiero newspaper found that she had 46% support, ahead of Gálvez on 28% and García on 8%.

The pre-campaign period concludes in January, while the official campaign period – during which the candidates will go head to head in debates – starts March 1 and runs through May 29.

In addition to choosing a new president on June 2, Mexicans will renew both houses of federal Congress and elect thousands of people to state and municipal positions.

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


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