Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum will resign from her post on June 16 to start her presidential campaign ahead of next year’s election.
“I have made the decision to permanently resign from my post on June 16 with the purpose of becoming the first female in the history of Mexico to be president,” Sheinbaum announced during a press conference Monday.
The Morena party announced that it would pick its final candidate by early September, after surveying voters in the days prior. Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard officially left his post this week. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who’s ineligible to run again after finishing his six-year term next year, reportedly called for would-be presidential candidates to step down between June 16 and 19 to be considered in the selection process.
Sheinbaum, who’s leading opinion polls among potential Morena candidates, led initiatives as mayor to improve the transportation system and develop climate-friendly programs. She’s vowed to hew closely to Lopez Obrador’s policies. She has raised her profile in recent months by organizing free concerts in Mexico City graced by the likes of Spanish star Rosalia.
Morena has promised to select its candidate through a survey process later this year, and AMLO, as the president is known, has pledged that he won’t simply pick the candidate himself. Widely popular in Mexico, Lopez Obrador is seen as the reason many voters will continue to support Morena, even if he’s not on the ballot.
Once the environmental minister of Mexico City, Sheinbaum is seen as likely to be helped by Lopez Obrador, but analysts have debated whether she will face an uphill battle as a female candidate. She said in an interview with Bloomberg News that she’d like to keep raising the minimum wage and continue with the current fiscal austerity, in addition to continuing with AMLO’s energy policies.