Mexico’s 2023 elections: What’s at stake?

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, January 26, 2023
Mexico’s 2023 elections: What’s at stake?

In this year’s gubernatorial elections in Mexico state and Coahuila, ruling Morena party could take the last strongholds of conservative PRI party. 

Elections are scheduled for June 4, but campaigns in both states are underway.  

In Mexico state, a Morena-PT-PVEM alliance and the Va por México coalition, comprising opposition parties PRI, PAN and PRD, will fight it out. In Coahuila state, the Va por México candidate and individual Morena, PT and PVEM candidates will compete, as the left alliance could not agree on one.

Morena, the party of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is governing Mexico City and 20 of the 32 federal states, so the June elections could further weaken the opposition. 

Coahuila and Mexico state are home to the biggest number of the opposition parties’ members, with Mexico state always having been governed by PRI. If both states flipped to Morena, the party’s 2024 presidential candidate would enjoy a massive advantage, while pushing PRI to the brink of extinction. 

What's at stake?

With 9.1%, Mexico state was the second-biggest GDP contributor in 2021, while Coahuila was eighth, with 3.7%. 

Mexico state has a strong industrial base, including the automotive sector, food and beverages, chemical-pharmaceutical companies, textile and tourism, according to state data. It surrounds Mexico City, with strong transport, energy and water infrastructure links, such as the Cutzamala reservoir system.

The state’s main airports are the facility in Toluca city and the Felipe Ángeles international airport (AIFA).

Coahuila, on the other hand, shares a border with Texas. Its economy is driven by agriculture, the cattle industry, construction material production and, crucially, mining. The state is the country’s top producer of baryta, coke, iron, fluorite and iron pellets, and the third biggest gold and silver producer, according to statistics office Inegi. 

The federal government is implementing the 10bn-peso (US$531mn) Agua Saludable para La Laguna program to supply clean water to the Comarca Lagunera urban area in Durango state and Coahuila. And Caxxor Group’s US$3.3bn T-MEC rail corridor, connecting Sinaloa state, the US and Canada, will also cross Coahuila. 

Electoral calendar

Primary campaigns in both states started on January 14 and will end on February 12. Although no other primary challengers were selected, the definitive candidates must be registered between March 28 and April 1. The gubernatorial campaigns will start April 2 and end May 31. The winners will assume office at the end of the year.

Mexico state

Delfina Gómez, who served in López Obrador’s cabinet as education minister, is leading the Morena coalition, while Alejandra del Moral, a former local legislator, is heading the opposition campaign. Gómez ran for governor in 2017, but lost against Alfredo del Mazo from PRI party. Yet, she defeated Del Moral in a senate election in 2018. 

Alejandra del Moral/Delfina Gómez

Coahuila state

The opposition alliance picked Manolo Jiménez, a former member of current governor Miguel Riquelme’s cabinet. Jiménez is also the former mayor of capital Saltillo.

Meanwhile, the Morena alliance could not get behind senator Armando Guadiana as the common candidate. Guadiana, a mining investor, will now run for Morena, Ricardo Mejía, who was the federal deputy of public security until December, will run for PT, and PVEM picked Lenín Pérez, a lawmaker and former mayor of Acuña city.

Manolo Jiménez/Armando Guadiana/Ricardo Mejía

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