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Despite pleas from Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, the race for the National Action Party nomination to succeed him next year is under way.
Osuna's top aide, Cuauhtémoc Cardona (right), resigned Thursday to run for governor. The week before, after Cardona said he hoped to run for governor next year, Osuna Millán said it was not the time or the place to be talking about next year's election. What matters at the moment is doing one's job in government to serve the people, Osuna Millán said. Cardona's statement last week came just days after the PAN had suffered a crushing defeat in Mexico's presidential race and lost seven of eight races for the Chamber of Deputies in Baja California. The party had last lost a race for a seat in the Chamber in 1997.
Columnist Cosme Collignon said Cardona likely was asked to resign. Cardona, besides talking about running for governor last week, had gotten himself in hot water with the military in September when he showed up late to an event.
Collignon did not put Cardona in a list of major contenders, which he said included three former Tijuana mayors, Jorge
Ramos Hernández, Héctor Osuna Jaime, and Francisco Vega de Lamadrid, currently a federal deputy. Collignon said other contenders are outgoing federal Sen. Jaime Rafael Díaz Ochoa, also a former mayor of Mexicali, and national security official
Óscar Vega Marín. Other analysts have mentioned federal deputy Oscar Arce Paniagua as a potential candidate for governor. Collignon's column. Yet others see federal Deputy Gastón Luken Garza as a potential candidate; he represents the PAN for District 5, even though he is not formally a member of the PAN.
Update, Aug. 29: Luken announces his candidacy.
Update, Oct. 9: Full-page ad touting Díaz published in Frontera (PDF). El Mexicano article on Díaz throwing hat in ring (PDF).
The July 14 Tejido Político column in El Sol de Tijuana counted out both Cardona for his sins in the Osuna Millán administration and Vega Marín for the sins of President Felipe Calderón. It said Arce has to be complimented for his work in being unanimously named president of the outgoing federal Chamber of Deputies, saying that must have involved a lot of negotiation with the leftist Democratic Revolution Party and marveling that even Gerardo Fernández Noroña voted for Arce.
Update, August: Fernández Noroña even attended Arce's last state-of-the-Congress address in Tijuana.
Update, July 20: Zeta reports that Osuna Millán appears to be backing Vega Marín behind the scenes and that part of the reason he named Francisco Burgos to succeed Cardona in the No. 2 state post was to clear the way for federal Deputy Max García's run for Tijuana mayor next year.
Many had thought that Francisco Blake Mora would be the PAN gubernatorial candidate next year, but he died in a helicopter crash last year while serving as national interior minister. He previously had been Osuna Millán's top aide.
Meanwhile, Frontera reported that PAN officials were mulling the possibility of running a joint candidate for governor next year against the PRI. The paper quoted the secretary of the national executive committee of the PAN, Juan Manuel Oliva. Story, Frontera (PDF). The Tejido Político column said this is quite a comedown for the PAN, which has held the governorship since 1989. Potential PRI candidates include Sen. Fernando Castro Trenti, who will be a federal deputy in the next legislature, former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, whom Osuna Millán defeated in 2007, and current Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante.
|Potential PAN gubernatorial candidate||Age||Birthdate||Important posts|
|Francisco "Kiko" Vega de Lamadrid||58||June 18, 1954||Tijuana mayor, 1998-2001; federal deputy, 2009-2012; Baja California finance minister, 1995-1997; pawn-shop businessman|
|Jaime Rafael Díaz Ochoa||55||Aug. 14, 1956||Mexicali mayor, 2001-2004; federal senator, 2006-2012|
|Hector Osuna Jaime||55||June 25, 1957||Tijuana mayor, 1992-1995; federal senator, 2000-2006; state legislator, 1989-1992; president, COFETEL (Federal Telecommunications Commission, 2006-2010); architect|
|Gastón Luken Garza||52||Sept. 6, 1959||federal deputy, 2009-2012; controller, Mexico City government of Mayor Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, 1997-1999; adviser to Mexico City government of Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 2000-2003; president, Baja California Electoral Institute, 1995-1997; member, Federal Electoral Institute, 2000-2003; member, Transparencia Mexicana; businessman|
|Cuauhtémoc Cardona Benavides||47||March 27, 1965||top aide to Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, 2010-2012; state legislator, 1989-1992; 2000-2003, at-large federal deputy; 2006-2009, deputy minister, federal Agricultural Reform Ministry|
|Oscar Arce Paniagua||45||March 10, 1967||Federal deputy, 2009-2012 (president, Chamber of Deputies, 2012); síndico, Playas de Rosarito, 1995-1998; adviser to Tijuana mayor, 2001-2004; president, Rosarito tourism and convention committee, 1995-1996|
Jorge Ramos Hernández
|44||July 11, 1968||
Tijuana mayor, 2007-2010; councilman, 1998-2001; city social development director, 2001-2004; director, state utilities agency for Tijuana, 2004-2006
|Oscar Vega Marín||42||May 30, 1970||Executive minister of public security, 2011-to date; Baja California education minister, 2007-2010; Tijuana councilman, 1995-1998; executive director, Mexican Association of Municipalities, 1997-2003;|
Tijuana media has been full of chatter about Vega Marín, speculating that he was responsible for billboards promoting the upcoming issue of Campestre magazine, which has Vega Marín on the cover. Vega Marín, asked about this at Sen. Alejandro González Alcocer's report on his activities Thursday, said he did not pay for the billboards and assumed that Campestre did. On Friday, he told Tijuana media that he was concentrating on his job and not campaigning for governor. Story, Frontera (PDF). However, he has been in Baja California a lot. Vega Marín visits Rosarito (PDF). July 16: Vega Marín says 20% of police nationwide should not be in their posts. El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, July 15: El Mexicano political page speculates about governor's race (PDF).
Update, July 25: PAN President Gustavo Madero visits Baja California to discuss possible coalition with left for governor. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, July 26: Democratic Revolution Party member Nibardo Flores says that in the remote possibility that there might be a leftist-PAN coalition for governor, the candidate should be a leftist. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Sept. 27, 2011: Cardona, general shake hands.
Sept. 23, 2011: Columnist Benedicto Ruiz says Cardona cannot stay and cannot go.
Sept. 20, 2011: General thunders against Cardona.