Claudia Sheinbaum makes history as Mexico’s first female president

Claudia Sheinbaum shattered the glass ceiling to become Mexico’s first woman president in a historic landslide win. The 61-year-old former Mayor of Mexico City and lifelong leftist, ran a disciplined campaign, capitalizing on her predecessor’s popularity.

Mexico’s official electoral authority said preliminary results showed that Sheinbaum would win between 58% and 60% of the vote in Sunday’s election, giving her a clear lead of 30% over her main rival, businesswoman Xóchitl Gálvez.

Sheinbaum will replace her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on October 1st. But with her victory now in hand, Mexicans will look to see how Sheinbaum, a very different personality from her mentor, will assert herself.

Sheinbaum, a former energy scientist, has promised continuity, saying that she will continue to build on the “advances” made by Obrador, further building on the welfare programs that have made the outgoing president very popular. While she was molded by Obrador politically and shares many of his ideas about the government’s role in addressing inequality, she is viewed as less combative and more data-driven.

In her victory speech she told cheering voters: “For the first time in the 200 years of the [Mexican] Republic, I will become the first woman president of Mexico.” She said it was an achievement not just for her but for all women. “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 added, “I won’t fail you.”

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