MEXICO CITY – The daughter of a construction worker and former teacher who became a mayor and a national lawmaker, Delfina Gomez, now has her sights set on ending the 88-year, one-party monopoly on the governorship of the central state of Mexico.
In an interview Thursday at EFE’s offices in Mexico City, the 54-year-old Gomez spoke about her desire to win the June 4 election and also answered critics who have accused her of being the puppet of leftist two-time presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who led protest marches after saying his narrow loss in the 2006 election was marred by fraud.
“I’m the lawmaker with the most votes nationally,” said Gomez, who touted her success as mayor of the city of Texcoco despite inheriting a 200-million-peso ($15-million) debt load left behind by her Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) predecessor.
The previous administration had failed to pay for basic items like school uniforms and the police force had just eight patrol cars – three of which were broken down – when she first took office, according to Gomez
To raise necessary funds, she decided to reduce her own salary and those of other city officials by 10 percent.
“It wasn’t much, but over time a good amount was raised,” Delfina said, adding that thanks to those savings 50 patrol cars were purchased in a month and a half and police officers received service weapons and life insurance policies and were administered trustworthiness tests.
Gomez later was elected national lawmaker in June 2015 as a member of Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena).
She is currently running third in the polls ahead of the June 4 elections in Mexico state, a powerful office that in the case of current head of state Enrique Peña Nieto was a stepping stone to the presidency.
Lopez trails the candidates of the long-dominant centrist PRI, Alfredo del Mazo, Peña Nieto’s cousin and the son and grandson of former Mexico state governors; and of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), Josefina Vazquez Mota, a 2012 presidential candidate and former education minister.
With campaigning set to begin in April, the PRI’s concerns over that race were apparent last weekend, when Peña Nieto, who governed Mexico state from 2005-2011, himself spoke at the party’s 88th anniversary gathering and warned of the risks that both conservative and leftist forces represent for Mexico.