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Friday, Aug. 9, 2013

In recount, PRD candidate José Luis Pérez Canchola loses ground, appears to miss out on seat in Baja California state legislature, Frontera reports

Former state human rights official lost Tijuana District 8 by 1,960 votes to PRI coalition candidate, and would need roughly 830 more votes in recount to win at-large seat for PAN coalition over PAN's Gerardo Álvarez

Update, Aug. 10, 2013: Frontera reports that Pérez Canchola has gained votes in recount
Update, Aug. 16: Electoral tribunal says Pérez Canchola did not win PAN-PRD coalition at-large best-loser's seat

      jose luis perez cancholaIn a recount for a Baja California state legislative seat representing Tijuana District 8, Democratic Revolution Party candidate José Luis Pérez Canchola gained seven votes, but his opponent Fausto Gallardo García gained 14 to hold onto apparent victory. Pérez Canchola, a former human rights official for the state, had hoped to gain enough votes in the state electoral tribunal's recount of 33 of the district's precincts so that he could have become an at-large representative for the National Action Party's coalition in the legislature. If Pérez Canchola cannot do that, the National Action Party's Gerardo Álvarez takes the at-large post, Frontera reported (PDF).
Update, Aug. 10: A Pérez Canchola representative said he had gained votes in the recount. Frontera political page (PDF).
Update, Aug. 16: Electoral tribune says Pérez Canchola is not the winner of the best-loser's at-large seat for the PAN-PRD coalition.
Update, Aug. 25: Pérez Canchola admits defeat. Story, Frontera (PDF).

       The at-large seat goes to the losing candidate who has the greatest percentage of the vote in district races in the July 7 election; Álvarez was second in the District 9 race with 44%, while Pérez Canchola had 42.9% (table below) in District 8. Pérez Canchola would likely have had to pick up 830 or more votes in the recount to win the coalition's at-large seat.

       The district races Pérez Canchola and Álvarez were in had some interesting developments during the campaign. Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, when he appeared at the closing Tijuana rally for Institutional Revolutionary Party gubernatorial candidate Fernando Castro Trenti, wore a Gallardo cap and a shirt backing PRI candidate Jorge Astiazarán for mayor (Hank and Castro Trenti are archrivals, and Hank had wanted the PRI gubernatorial nomination). Gallardo is a Green Party candidate who ran as part of the PRI coalition in District 8.

       Álvarez got involved with a confrontation with a journalist who asked him about polls showing Álvarez behind in his district race. He lost to District 9 PRI candidate Miriam Ayón Castro, who left her post as a Tijuana City Council member to run for the legislature.

District 8 (pre-recount) Votes %   District 9 Votes %
Pérez Canchola (PRD, PAN coalition) 30,352 42.9%   Álvarez (PAN) 17,848 44%
Gallardo (Green Party, PRI coalition) 32,312 45.6%   Ayón (PRI) 18,740 46.2%
Citizens Movement 5,264 7.4%   CM 2,288 5.6%
Other votes 260 0.4%   Other 225 0.6%
Null votes 2,601 3.7%   Null 1,419 3.5%
Total 70,789     Total 40,520  


      There were sour grapes in the decision over who would be the Citizens Movement "best-loser" at-large candidate. While Juan Manuel Molina García of Mexicali District 1 looked to be the best loser on election night, the final count gave the seat to Claudia Casas, a radio personality who also has acted in low-budget drug-trafficking films. She got 13.5% of the vote to Molina García's 11.4%. He is challenging her win (Frontera (PDF).
Update. Aug. 12: El Mexicano columnist Jaime Flores Martínez in his Cicuta (Hemlock) column says PAN members have made efforts to help Molina, a former PAN legislator, in an attempt to gain a majority in the legislature. Flores's column (PDF).
Update, Aug. 16: State electoral tribunal throws out votes for Casas, declares Molina García the winner of at-large seat in question.

District 1 Votes %   District 16 Votes %
Juan Manuel Molina García 3,881 11.4%   Claudia Casas (Citizens Movement) 6,538 13.5%
(PAN coalition) 14,974 44.2%   PRI coalition 22,210 45.7%
PRI coalition 13,599 40.1%   PAN coalition 18,743 38.6%
Other votes 148 0.4%   Other 172 0.4%
Null votes 1,296 3.8%   Null 895 1.8%
Total 33,898     Total 48,558  


     The PRI coalition gets two "best-loser" seats in the legislature thanks to the coalition's second-place finish to the PAN coalition in directly elected state legislature races. The PAN coalition won 10 seats, and the PRI seven. Who won the PRI coalition's best-loser seats was in dispute; vote totals were challenged in efforts to get individual vote percentages up.

District 12 Votes %   District 13 Votes %   District 17 Votes %
David Ruvalcaba, PRI 18,420 44.2%   Jorge Tsutsumi, PRI coalition 60,946 43.5%   Laura Torres, PRI coalition 14,679 44%
PRD (PAN coalition) 18,450 44.3%   PAN coalition 65,355 46.7%   PAN coalition 15,530 46.5%
Citizens Movement 3,051 7.3%   CM 8,991 6.4%   CM 2,180 6.5%
Other votes 256 0.6%   Other 610 0.4%   Other 91 0.3%
Null votes 1,492 3.6%   Null 4,126 2.9%   Null 902 2.7%
Total 41,669     Total 140,028     Total 33,382  



      Election story
Official vote results.