Hemisphere Focus: The July 4, 2010, Mexican Gubernatorial Elections
June 30, 2010
• Mexico’s 12 gubernatorial elections this Sunday will test whether the Institutional Revolutionary
Party (PRI) can maintain the momentum that it has exhibited since finishing third in the 2006 presidential contest.
• Oaxaca is the most important election because an attractive candidate, backed by the National Action Party (PAN) and the bulk of the Left, is competing with the favorite of the incumbent PRI governor, who is using any and all means to retain control over this PRI bastion.
• Outgoing state executives are playing pivotal roles in these races, accentuating the flow of power from Mexico City to the states and manipulation of the state electoral institutes.
• These will be the first statewide electoral battles in which the drug cartels are resorting to blatant
violence as apparently reflected in the June 28 assassination of the PRI candidate in Tamaulipas. This murder has the potential to change the dynamics of the 2012 contest for president inasmuch as citizens will likely favor candidates prepared to take on the increasingly brutal cartels.