Mexico’s ruling party on Wednesday named former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum as its candidate for the 2024 presidential election, ensuring that for the first time the two main rivals to lead the Latin American power will be women.
Sheinbaum, a 61-year-old scientist by training, will face Xochitl Galvez, an outspoken businesswoman and senator with Indigenous roots selected to represent an opposition coalition, the Broad Front for Mexico.
Both women have invoked cracking the glass ceiling in their campaigns in a nation seeking to shake off a tradition of machismo – or sexism.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Morena party announced that Sheinbaum had won an internal contest to run in the June 2024 election, beating rivals including former foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard.
Sheinbaum is a staunch supporter and confidant of Lopez Obrador, a leftwing populist who enjoys an approval rating of more than 60 percent but is required by the constitution to leave office after a single six-year term.
“Sheinbaum is probably the greatest ally in the political history of Lopez Obrador,” said analyst Pablo Majluf.
A student leader in the 1980s, Sheinbaum served as Mexico City’s environment secretary when Lopez Obrador was mayor from 2000-2005.