Claudia Sheinbaum Becomes Mexico’s First Female President

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Claudia Sheinbaum has won Mexico’s presidential election, becoming the country’s first female president and setting Mexico up for six more years of left-leaning Morena Party leadership.

Sheinbaum earned between 58.3% and 60.7% of the vote, according to the Associated Press, which officially declared Sheinbaum the winner shortly after 4 a.m. EST. Xochitl Galvez, an opposition senator, finished in second place, with between 26.6% and 28.6% of the vote. The president-elect is the former mayor of Mexico City, the country’s capital and largest city.

Ruling party presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum arrives to vote in general elections in Mexico City, Sunday, June 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)
Ruling party presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum arrives to vote in general elections in Mexico City, Sunday, June 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

“I will become the first woman president of Mexico,” Sheinbaum said after officially being declared the winner of the election. “I don’t make it alone. We’ve all made it, with our heroines who gave us our homeland, with our mothers, our daughters, and our granddaughters.”

Sheinbaum was the chosen successor of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and has promised to continue Lopez Obrador’s policies, such as a universal pension for the elderly. The sitting president has remained popular in the country, especially among the poor, but the country’s constitution disabled him from running for president again.

“We have demonstrated that Mexico is a democratic country with peaceful elections,” she said.

The election was believed to be the largest in the country’s history, with nearly 100 million citizens voting in more than 20,000 congressional and local positions available. However, the historic day was tainted by violence, with reported kidnappings, attacks, and disruptions in polling efforts.

And in the three-month official campaign season, more than 20 candidates were killed, and hundreds more sought state protection, particularly those running for state and local positions. Mexico has long dealt with gang violence, and the issue was a major campaigning point for Sheinbaum and Galvez.

Claudia Sheinbaum Becomes Mexico’s First Female President
Ruling party presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum shows her ink-stained thumb after voting during general elections in Mexico City, Sunday, June 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

The results of Sunday’s election are sure to affect the United States as Mexico is one of its neighbors, and the crisis at the countries’ shared border has been a major point of contention for years.

Sheinbaum will have the legal authority to undo an April agreement that Lopez Obrador entered into with President Joe Biden, according to the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan global affairs think tank in Washington, D.C. The White House touted the agreement this week as having had a positive effect in reducing illegal immigrant arrests at the U.S. southern border.

Sheinbaum has supported Lopez Obrador’s “hugs, not bullets” security approach, prioritizing social programs over law enforcement. Her winning the election is a bolster to his political legacy; how she fares during her time in office will help decide her own.

Conrad Hoyt
Conrad Hoyt
Conrad Hoyt is the overnight news editor. He covers breaking news and foreign policy, among other things. Conrad studied at the University of Oswego and Brooklyn College. Previously, he worked for WITN, a local TV news station in eastern North Carolina, where he expanded his reporting and producing skills.

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