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Former federal legislator Fernando Castro Trenti registered as a candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party nomination for Baja California governor in Mexicali on Friday, and the mayors of the state's five municipalities all joined him onstage in a show of unity as thousands watched. Three of the mayors had previously expressed hopes of becoming the PRI candidates.
Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, who lost the governor's race to the National Action Party's José Guadalupe Osuna Millán in 2007 and had hoped to be the PRI nominee again this year, was a no-show, leaving Castro Trenti as the PRI's only candidate. He later wrote on his Facebook page: "I suggest we work together so that the PRI governs Baja California."
Among those showing support for Castro Trenti in person were leaders of the other three parties in his coalition, the Green Party, Social Encounter Party, and the Workers Party. Also there were many top members of the Democratic Revolution Party, which is in a coalition with the National Action Party.
This election is seen as the PRI's best chance to end the PAN's 24-year hold on the governor's post.
Meanwhile, former federal Deputy Gastón Luken of Tijuana said he was dropping out of the race to become the nominee of the PAN-PRD-New Alliance Party-Baja California State Party coalition for governor. The candidate is to be selected by the PAN, and although Luken represented the PAN in Congress from 2009-2012, he is not a member of the PAN. He previously worked with two PRD governments in Mexico City, and had hoped to have become the candidate of the PRD-PAN coalition. Instead, the PAN race comes down to a contest between former Tijuana mayors Francisco Vega (1998-2001), who has been orchestrating big events in his support, and Héctor Osuna Jaime (1992-1995).
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Two pages of ads showing pictures of Castro Trenti event. First page (PDF). Second page.