Mexico: Claudia Sheinbaum Elected as First Female President

Claudia Sheinbaum has made history by being elected as Mexico’s first woman president in a landslide victory.

According to preliminary results from Mexico’s official electoral authority, the 61-year-old former mayor of Mexico City secured between 58% and 60% of the vote in Sunday’s election. This gives her a lead of about 30 percentage points over her main rival, businesswoman Xóchitl Gálvez.

Ms. Sheinbaum will succeed her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on October 1.

EPA Supporters of Mexico's Presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum celebrate after knowing the preliminary results of the general elections in Mexico City, Mexico, 03 June 2024
Supporters of Claudia Sheinbaum are celebrating her win


Claudia Sheinbaum, a former energy scientist, has vowed to maintain the progress initiated by outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, emphasizing the continuation of welfare programs that have bolstered his popularity.

In her victory speech, she highlighted the historic nature of her win, telling cheering supporters, “For the first time in the 200 years of the [Mexican] Republic, I will become the first woman president of Mexico.” She framed her achievement as a milestone not only for herself but for all women, stating, “I’ve said it from the start, this is not just about me getting [to the top office], it’s about all of us getting here.”

She assured the public, “I won’t fail you,” and extended her gratitude to her rival, Xóchitl Gálvez, who has conceded victory.

Before her presidential run, Claudia Sheinbaum served as mayor of Mexico City, one of the most influential political positions in the country and often seen as a stepping stone to the presidency. Sheinbaum, whose Jewish maternal grandparents fled the Nazis and immigrated to Mexico from Bulgaria, had a distinguished career as a scientist before entering politics. Her paternal grandparents were from Lithuania.

Both of her parents were scientists, and Sheinbaum followed in their footsteps, studying physics and earning a doctorate in energy engineering. She spent years at a renowned research lab in California, focusing on Mexican energy consumption patterns and becoming an expert on climate change.

Her expertise and student activism led to her appointment as secretary of the environment for Mexico City during Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s tenure as mayor. In 2018, Sheinbaum made history by becoming the first female mayor of Mexico City, a position she held until 2023 when she stepped down to run for president.

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