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Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

Nancy Sánchez seeks to remain as head of Baja California PRI

Fierce battle has been taking place between supporters of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon and former legislator Fernando Castro Trenti

       Nancy SanchezNancy Sánchez of Mexicali is seeking to remain as the head of the Baja California PRI as a compromise choice of sorts until after the 2015 elections, UniradioInforma reported. A fierce competition has been taking place on who would succeed Sánchez, named to head the Institutional Revolutionary Party in the state on an interim basis following the departure of René Mendívil, who now heads the PRI delegation in the Baja California legislature.

       The competition has mainly been between the Jorge Hank Rhon and the Fernando Castro Trenti wings of the party. Hank Rhon, a gambling magnate and former Tijuana mayor, won the 2007 PRI gubernatorial nomination but lost the election. Hank wanted the nomination again last year, but Castro Trenti was named the candidate — but lost the election. Castro Trenti had taken a leave of absence from the national Chamber of Deputies to run for governor, but when he wanted to return to that post, he found that the national party wanted his successor to stay there; Castro Trenti was offered, and finally accepted, the ambassador's post in Argentina.

        Last month, Castro Trenti made a whirlwind trip to Baja Campestre Carlos Barboza portadaCalifornia and blasted Hank's candidate for the state PRI leadership, Carlos Barboza.

        Eugenio Carrasco, the editor of Campestre magazine who also has a column in El Mexicano, praised Sánchez in the column Monday for having said that Castro Trenti's place now is elsewhere and that Hank's time had passed. Interestingly, Carrasco's magazine had Barboza on the cover of its January issue.

        The competition for the top state party post has been open-ended and, for many, maddeningly ambiguous. PRIistas attending a Mendívil speech at city party headquarters Saturday about what is going on at the legislature said the selection and timing may depend on a possible visit to Baja California next month by national PRI President César Camacho.

       Sánchez, who represented Mexicali in the state legislature from 2010-2013, ran for the federal Senate in 2012 and very well might have won a Senate seat, save for that tens of thousands of PRI voters mistakenly spoiled their ballots.

Update, Feb. 27: El Mexicano political page (PDF) discusses possibility of Sánchez staying on, and mentions Barboza and former state legislator Carlos Murguía as the two other main possibilities.