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María Elvia Amaya de Hank says she declined the Senate nomination for the Institutional Revolutionary Party to give the party's ticket more geographical balance. The wife of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon said she was offered a spot on the ticket by the national executive committee of the PRI but declined because the other candidate was also from the coastal area of the state.
That other candidate, Eligio Valencia Roque, was not mentioned in her letter.
She said the PRI needed a candidate from the (Mexicali) Valley to be effective. Her letter (PDF). Story, Frontera (PDF). In a media conference on Monday, she said the PRI was democratic, even though the decision on the PRI Senate candidates came from on high in Mexico City. She said she spoke directly with national PRI leader Pedro Joaquín Coldwell. Political page, Frontera (PDF). She said her decision had nothing to do with the seizure of exotic birds that arrived on a private plane she and her husband flew on last week. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Analysts said one reason she declined the nomination is that she was not first on the ticket. The second candidate now is Nancy Sánchez Arredondo of Mexicali.
The National Action Party, the PRI's main competition in the race for three Baja California Senate seats, has candidates from Ensenada (former Gov. Ernesto Ruffo) and Mexicali (former Mayor Víctor Hermosillo). It is likely that one of the two parties will gain two seats and the other party the third seat. However, some media observers say that because Valencia is perceived to be such a poor candidate, radio talk show host Marco Antonio Blásquez could be a surprise for the Democratic Revolution Party.
Table of Senate vote totals for 2000 and 2006 below
María Elvia Amaya de Hank has declined to run for the Institutional Revolutionary Party Senate nomination for Baja California. She had indicated she was going to run earlier this month and a group had created a webpage urging her to run.
Nancy Sánchez resigned her position representing Mexicali in the state legislature to take the second spot on a ticket headed by Eligio Valencia Roque, a union leader who operates El Mexicano newspaper. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Analysis of why María Elvia Amaya de Hank dropped out, Frontera (PDF).
Although 16 PRIistas had indicated they were interested in running for the PRI Senate nominations, at the end of the day only Sánchez and Valencia Roque registered as candidates. Saturday was the deadline to apply to run.
Frontera said people close to María Elvia Amaya de Hank indicated that she decided not to run in part because she was going to wind up as the second name on a ticket and she wanted to be the first. She is the wife of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, who plans to run for governor next year. Last week, she was on a private flight from which exotic birds were seized at the Tijuana airport. There was no immediate import documentation for the birds; it was later produced. A Frontera analysis said the seizure was a deciding factor in removing María Elvia Amaya de Hank from the first spot on the ticket. She said at a media conference on Jan. 23, however, that the exotic bird case had nothing to do with her decision.
Valencia Roque and Sánchez will face off against former Gov. Ernesto Ruffo and former Mexicali Mayor Víctor Hermosillo of the National Action Party; federal Deputy Jorge Kahwagi and another candidate of the New Alliance Party; and leftist candidate and radio talk show host Marco Antonio Blásquez and Daniel Solorio. There are three federal Senate seats at stake: The two people on the winning ticket will be elected, while the third Senate seat will go to the first person on the ticket with the second-most votes.
Currently, Baja California is represented in the Senate by Sen. Alejandro González Alcocer and Jaime Rafael Díaz Ochoa of the PAN and Fernando Castro Trenti of the PRI. Trenti was the first name on the second-place ticket in 2006 (See table below).
Update, Jan. 23: Antonio Magaña column on the "democratic selection." Frontera (PDF).
El Mexicano's political page (PDF) says decision was one taken to give gubernatorial rivals Jorge Hank Rhon and Sen. Fernando Castro Trenti candidates in the election.
December story on María Elvia Amaya de Hank being urged to run.
Update, Jan. 24: Rosa Elena Mares Cossio says she tried to register as a PRI Senate candidate on Saturday, but was not allowed to do so. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Eligio Valencia Roque, a union leader and operator of El Mexicano newspaper, is being backed by the mayors of Mexicali, Tecate and Rosarito Beach for the Institutional Revolutionary Party nomination for Senate, El Mexicano reported on its front page. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Frontera ran a list of PRI Senate hopefuls for the July 1 election. They are:
• René Mendívil Acosta, state head of the PRI
• Nancy Sánchez, state legislator from Mexicali
• David Saúl Guakil, Tijuana's social development agency chief
• María Elvia de Hank, wife of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon (mayor from 2004-2007)
• Samuel Ramos Flores, former Mexicali mayor (2004-2007)
• Rommel Arvizu, Ensenada radio station owner
• Guillermo Aldrete Hass, former Mexicali mayor (1986-1989)
• Eduardo Martínez Palomera, former Mexicali mayor (1970-1971, 1980-1983)
• Humberto López Barraza, state legislator from Mexicali (1992-1995, 2007-2010), federal legislator (1995-1997)
• Enrique Acosta Fragoso, head of the Baja California chapter of the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Populares (CNOP); state legislator, 2007-2010; has opposed Sempra activities in state
• Antonio Meza Estrada, former consul in Detroit (2002-2006); former consul in El Paso (2000-2002); promoter of reading; director of National Free Textbooks Commission (1994-1999); top aide to Education Minister Ernesto Zedillo (1992-1993).
• René Treviño Arredondo, former Tijuana mayor (1983-1986)
• Humberto Lepe Lepe, federal deputy for Mexicali who has occupied a number of federal posts and was a top aide to Beatriz Paredes when she led the PRI bloc in the federal legislature from 2000-2003.
• Daniel Quintero Peña, former Ensenada mayor (1998-2001) and former federal legislator (1994-1997). He lost the 2001 gubernatorial race to Eugenio Elorduy Walther.
• Víctor Galicia, federal legislator for Ensenada who has specialized in agricultural and fishing issues
• Eligio Valencia, former state legislator (2004-2007) for Tijuana, union leader who operates El Mexicano newspaper
Story, El Sol de Tijuana. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Jan. 7: María Elvia de Hank says she will seek PRI Senate nomination if she finds she has voter support to do so. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Jan. 10: Frontera update on machinations for Senate nominations, as well of possible PRI Chamber of Deputy nominations disputed by gubernatorial rivals Jorge Hank Rhon and Sen. Fernando Castro Trenti. Political page (PDF).
Baja California's Senate tickets