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Column 070113 Wall

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fifteen Mexican States have Elections Scheduled for July 7

By Allan Wall

Last year, 2012, Mexico held presidential and congressional elections.  The next  congressional elections aren’t scheduled until 2015, and the next presidential election in 2018.

This year, on Sunday, July 7th, there are local elections being held in 15 states in Mexico.

Only one governorship is up for grabs, in the state of Baja California.

Each of Mexico’s 31 states has a unicameral legislature, the representatives in these legislatures are called diputados in Spanish.  In this summer’s elections, diputados are being elected in 12 states, plus one other state has a  special election for only one such diputado.

Mexico’s states are divided into municipios.  In the United States, a Mexican municipio would be something of a cross between a municipality and a county.  The mayor of a municipio is known as the alcalde, or presidente municipal, and he and the municipio council together form the ayuntamiento.  About 1,350 municipios are up for grabs on July 7th.

Let’s start on the far southeastern edge of the country and work our way north and west:

1.       QUINTANA ROO – This is Mexico’s easternmost state, home of the famous Riviera Maya tourist area.  In Quintana Roo, 25 diputados and ten ayuntamientos are being elected.
2.     OAXACA – In this state, located on Mexico’s southern Pacific Coast, 42 diputados are being elected, and 570 ayuntamientos.  Oaxaca is a mountainous state and the state has more municipios than any other in Mexico.  In all of Mexico there are 2,378 municipios, and Oaxaca has 570, which is about a quarter of the total in the whole country. 
      Additionally, out of the total of 570 municipios in Oaxaca, 153 are chosen in the regular way, with ballots and political parties, with the remaining 417 chosen using indigenous customs, in customary town meetings.
3.      PUEBLA – In the state of Puebla, which is north of Oaxaca, elections are being held for 41 diputados and 217 ayuntamientos.
4.     TLAXCALA – This small state is nestled between Puebla and Hidalgo, and voters in Tlaxcala are choosing 32 diputados, 60 ayuntamientos, and 391 presidentes de comunidad.
5.      HIDALGO lies northeast of the state of Mexico. Hidalgo’s voters are electing 30 diputados.
6.     VERACRUZ is a long state sprawled along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  Its voters are choosing 50 diputados and 212 ayuntamientos.
7.      TAMAULIPAS is Mexico’s northeasternmost state, along the Gulf of Mexico. Its voters are selecting 36 diputados and 43 ayuntamientos.
8.     AGUASCALIENTES is, geographically speaking, at the center of Mexico.  Voters there are electing 27 diputados and 11 ayuntamientos.
9.     ZACATECAS is north of Aguascalientes.  Zacatecas is electing 30 diputados and 58 ayuntamientos.
10.  COAHUILA is north of Zacatecas, on Mexico's northern border, where it is contiguous with Texas, U.S.A.  Voters in Coahuila are electing 38 ayuntamientos.
11.   DURANGO is located between Sinaloa and Zacatecas, and voters in Durango are electing 30 diputados and 39 ayuntamientos. 
12.  SINALOA is on the Pacific coast, west of Durango.  Sinaloa voters are electing 40 diputados and 18 ayuntamientos.
13.  CHIHUAHUA is Mexico’s biggest state, which borders Texas and Arizona to its north.  Chihuahua voters are electing 33 diputados and 67 ayuntamientos.
14.  SONORA is a northwest Mexican state that borders Arizona in the U.S.  The Sonora election is a special election, to elect only one state diputado for District XVII.
15.  BAJA CALIFORNIA is Mexico’s northwesternmost state, the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula.  Its five municipios have elections for the ayuntamientos, while 25 diputados are to be chosen. 

Baja California was the first Mexican state after the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) in which the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institicional) was defeated in a gubernatorial election. That was in 1989, when the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) won the governorship. 
This was followed nationally by the PRI’s loss of a congressional majority in 1997, and the first PRI loss of the presidency in 2000.  So, that 1989 PAN victory was an important part of Mexico’s political development.

The PAN has held onto the Baja California governership since 1989, for the past 24 years, which is impressive.  The current governor is PANista Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan, whose six-year term is scheduled to expire on Halloween of 2013, four months hence.

The three candidates up for election on July 7th are Francisco Vega de la Madrid, of the PAN coalition (which also includes the PRD, the Nueva Alianza party, and the Partido Estatal de Baja California); Fernando Castro Trenti, of the PRI coalition (which includes the Green Party, the Labor Party, and the Social Encounter Party); and Felipe Ruanova Zarate, of the Movimiento Ciudadano. note: For details and information on the 2013 elections, go to the local electoral institute sites in each of the aforementioned 15 states.  In Spanish.


Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at

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