(Bloomberg) -- Nuevo Leon’s Governor Samuel Garcia announced that he will run for the presidency of Mexico, introducing a new candidate to a race that has mainly been between two women from the country’s leading parties.
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Garcia, 35, will formally register as candidate on Nov. 12, he said in a video posted on his social media. In early polling, he has been shown to be a third-party choice who could draw some voters’ support, potentially splitting opposition votes.
Populist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is not eligible to run for another term in the election in June, which has set off a race between the protegé from his party, former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, and an opposition senator, Xochitl Galvez.
Nuevo Leon has become one of the major targets for new investment in the country, turning Garcia, from the relatively small Citizens’ Movement Party into a familiar name on the national stage. Elected governor in 2021, he previously served as senator for the state and as a lawyer, and became known along with his wife for his spashly social media posts. Garcia often touts his role in Tesla Inc’s decision to invest in producing electric cars in the state.
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In the video, he addressed Nuevo Leon voters, making the case that the state would benefit if he was to take the country’s top role. To run for president, he will take a leave of absence from the governorship.
“We think this is a win-win, because if Nuevo Leon does well, it’s an icon for the rest of the country,” he said in the video posted on X, formally known as Twitter. “My desire to transform Mexico into something new has tripled and I think that we as a couple, as a family, have a lot to offer you, your family, your children, and our great country.”
Garcia’s party holds one other governorship, in the state of Jalisco, and has declined to ally itself with other opposition parties, including the National Action Party, known as the PAN, and the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, allowing it to pitch itself as independent.
In an El Financiero poll in late October, 8% of voters said that they would vote for him, while 46% favored Morena’s Sheinbaum and 28% the opposition coalition’s Galvez.
Later Friday, AMLO’s Morena party is scheduled to announce its candidates for all of the states where governorships are up for grabs and for the much-watched race for the mayorship of Mexico City. The mayoral race will pit Omar Garcia Harfuch, former security minister for the city under Sheinbaum and her close ally, against Iztapalapa borough leader Clara Brugada, who is more closely associated with AMLO.
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