Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Meet the Candidates: Mexico

Mexico will hold the largest election in its history on June 2.
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This article is adapted from AQ’special report on Latin America’s election super-cycle

This page was last updated on February 13.

Mexico will hold the largest general election in its history in a single-round vote on June 2. Voters will elect candidates for president, all 128 seats in the Senate, all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, nine governors and thousands of local offices.

This page includes the three presidential candidates leading in January polling from El Financiero, listed in alphabetical order by last name. We will occasionally update this page to reflect developments in the campaigns.

AQ also asked a dozen nonpartisan experts on Mexico to help us identify where each candidate stands on two spectrums: left versus right on economic matters, and a more personalistic leadership style versus an emphasis on institutions. We’ve published the average response, with a caveat: Platforms evolve, and so do candidates.

This piece is part of AQ’s ongoing coverage of upcoming elections.

Jorge Álvarez Máynez | Xóchitl Gálvez | Claudia Sheinbaum

Jorge Álvarez Máynez

38, national legislator

Movimiento Ciudadano (MC)

“I am a rational optimist and militant of lost causes.”

HOW HE GOT HERE

Álvarez Máynez is serving his second term in Mexico’s lower house and coordinates MC’s congressional bench. He hails from Zacatecas, where he served as a state legislator from 2010 to 2013, the year he joined MC. Álvarez Máynez entered the race in January 2024 – he was the campaign manager for the party’s original candidate, Nuevo León governor Samuel García, who dropped out in December.

WHY HE MIGHT WIN

Voters seeking a “third way” option might prefer Álvarez Máynez. MC is relatively new political party and has not allied itself with the main coalitions in the presidential race. He may attract some anti-establishment voters, as he aims to change the political system and has stated that he is “the only decent option” in this election.

WHY HE MIGHT LOSE

Polls indicate that Álvarez Máynez is a distant third behind Sheinbaum and Gálvez, and he has admitted that “eight of 10 Mexicans do not know me.” This is the first time MC is running its own presidential candidate, and analysts have observed that his long-shot candidacy may mainly serve to increase MC’s national recognition and congressional seats.

WHO SUPPORTS HIM

Álvarez Máynez is courting younger voters. He has stated that his competitors are “trapped in the past, in an old way of doing politics” and that he “represents the future.” Fellow critics of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) might back him, along with some social progressives (he supports marriage equality and decriminalizing abortion).

WHAT HE WOULD DO

His party profile describes a focus on labor rights, including expanded maternity and paternity leave. He said that his campaign reviewed Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s hardline security plan, and stated that “if El Salvador, which has fewer resources than Mexico, was able to tackle this issue head on, Mexico can do it with a civilian strategy that has peace as its objective.”

IDEOLOGY

Xóchitl Gálvez

60, senator

Frente Amplio por México (FAM)

“I am a person who generates wealth, but who is also very conscious that this wealth has to be redistributed.”

HOW SHE GOT HERE

Gálvez is a tech entrepreneur who ran the Indigenous Peoples’ Development Office under President Vicente Fox (2000-06), and then helped to form the National Indigenous Peoples’ Development Commission (CDI), becoming its first director (2003-06). In 2015, she won a race for mayor of a Mexico City district with the conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) party, and in 2018, she won a Senate seat.

WHY SHE MIGHT WIN

Gálvez will try to paint AMLO and his Morena party as ineffective on issues like crime and health care. Gálvez grew up in a low-income Indigenous household in the state of Hidalgo, and may be able to portray Sheinbaum as a Mexico City elite out of touch with the public.

WHY SHE MIGHT LOSE

AMLO remains popular, and Sheinbaum has a comfortable lead in the polls as his preferred successor. Moreover, Morena has a much stronger national political machine than Gálvez’s FAM coalition, composed of the PAN, the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

WHO SUPPORTS HER

Gálvez is popular among those who have opposed AMLO’s efforts to malign critics and reform institutions like the National Electoral Institute, including many from Mexico’s large middle class, which she is targeting in her campaign. She also attracts some environmental voters and those who own or work in small businesses.

WHAT SHE WOULD DO

Gálvez would raise taxes on the wealthy, incentivize nearshoring and reform state oil company Pemex, opening it to foreign investment and developing renewable energy. She would continue some of AMLO’s projects, including a land corridor to compete with the Panama Canal, and seek to strengthen a sometimes chilly relationship with the U.S. She would also prioritize training programs for tech and innovation skills like coding.

IDEOLOGY

Claudia Sheinbaum

61, former mayor of Mexico City

Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (Morena)

“I am not a copy of AMLO, but we are going to defend the same principles.”

HOW SHE GOT HERE

A former environmental scientist, Sheinbaum holds a Ph.D. in energy engineering. During part of AMLO’s tenure as mayor of Mexico City, she served in his Cabinet as environment secretary. Sheinbaum was elected mayor of a Mexico City district in 2015, and won the 2018 Mexico City mayoral race with 48% of the vote. She resigned as mayor in June 2023 to run for president.

WHY SHE MIGHT WIN

Sheinbaum is well known, and Morena is the country’s largest party—its governors run 22 of Mexico’s 32 states. Her close association with AMLO has contributed to her advantage in the polls, which she has led by a wide margin so far. Voters may credit her with security improvements during her term as mayor of Mexico City; in July 2023, the capital’s homicide rate fell to its lowest level in 16 years.

WHY SHE MIGHT LOSE

Other aspects of Sheinbaum’s record may alienate voters, who might associate her with the deadly collapse of a school in her district during the 2017 earthquake, and problems with Mexico City’s subway system, including a metro overpass collapse that killed 26 people in 2021. Amid Mexico’s difficult security situation, some voters will seek a change from the AMLO years and support opposition candidates.

WHO SUPPORTS HER

Morena’s loyal base includes mainly lower-income voters, as well as some social progressives. Sheinbaum is running as part of a coalition between Morena, the Partido del Trabajo (PT) and the Partido Verde Ecologista de México (PVEM).

WHAT SHE WOULD DO

Sheinbaum has said she would continue many of AMLO’s policies, but with her own stamp, which may involve a more technocratic bent. While she has emphasized the need to pursue renewable energy, she has expressed support for Mexico’s fossil fuel-centered state energy companies. Sheinbaum has vowed to maintain AMLO’s “republican austerity” and expand strategic infrastructure investment to promote foreign direct investment and nearshoring.

IDEOLOGY

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Tags: Claudia Sheinbaum, Elections 2024, Mexico, Xochitl Galvez
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