México state has a female governor for the first time ever after former federal education minister Delfina Gómez was sworn in on Thursday.
Gómez, who served as education minister in the current federal government between February 2021 and September 2022, takes office just over three months after she defeated Alejandra del Moral Vela in the gubernatorial election in Mexico’s most populous state.
She ended almost 100 years of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) rule in México state by winning the election on a ticket backed by the ruling Morena party.
After she was sworn in the state Congress at a ceremony attended by President López Obrador, Gómez outlined some of her plans as governor.
She committed herself to leading an honest and inclusive government that prioritizes assistance for the state’s most marginalized people and pledged to address water supply problems. Gómez, a former teacher and mayor of Texcoco, also pledged to implement austerity measures including pay cuts for state officials and to increase the severity of punishment for people who commit crimes against women, animals and the environment.
In addition, she committed to getting rid of the fuero – immunity from prosecution – for public officials including deputies and holding a “revocation of mandate” referendum on her governorship halfway through her six-year term.
“A public servant who doesn’t fulfill his or her assignment with rectitude and integrity will be dismissed and if applicable punished with the full weight of the law. [We’ve had] enough of so much corruption,” Gómez told attendees of the event held in state capital Toluca.
México state, which includes many municipalities that are part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, has long been a stronghold for the PRI, the party that ruled the country uninterruptedly between 1929 and 2000.
But after 94 straight years of PRI rule in México state, voters decided in June that they were ready for change.
Gómez, whose term in government officially commences Saturday, is now one of 23 governors affiliated with Morena and its allies.
There are currently eight other female governors, six of whom represent Morena, while two women – Claudia Sheinbaum and Xóchitl Gálvez – have been selected as the presidential candidates for Morena and the Broad Front for Mexico opposition bloc, respectively.