Josefina Vázquez Mota (PAN)

Josefina Vázquez Mota is the candidate of the governing National Action Party (PAN) who ended the PRI’s long dominance of the presidency in 2000 and won a second term in 2006. Vázquez Mota was most recently the leader of the PAN delegation in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Mexican Congress. She stepped down on September 7, 2011 to compete for the presidential nomination.

Vázquez Mota previously served as the Minister of Education under the administration of President Felipe Calderón (2006-2009) and served as his presidential campaign manager in 2006. She was also the Minister of Social Development under President Vicente Fox (2000-2005). Vázquez Mota has developed a large political network and is a well-known figure within the party, which helped her to win the PAN primary election on February 5th, 2012 with 55 percent of the vote.

The novelty of being the first women presidential candidate from a major political party, her reputation as a strong motivational speaker, and her experience dealing with Mexico’s major social issues have buoyed her candidacy. Nevertheless, her campaign faltered early on when a series of organizational missteps lead to embarrassing public events. In response she moved quickly, on April 9th, to shake up her campaign team by bringing in a number of trusted allies of President Calderón and seasoned political veterans.  She is currently in third place in most opinion polls.

For background:

-Video profile of Josefina Vázquez Mota and the other three presidential candidates
-Profile of Josefina Vázquez Mota and the other three presidential candidates
-Slideshow with profiles of Josefina Vázquez Mota and of the other three candidates for the Mexican presidency (The Economist)
-Profile of Josefina Vázquez Mota
-Another profile of Josefina Vázquez Mota
-Read “Is Mexico ready for a woman president?” by the Mexico Institute’s Eric L. Olson and Diana Murray Watts from February 14, 2012
-See Reuter’s Factbox” on Vázquez Mota from February 6, 2012.
-View her September 7, 2011 announcement of her decision to step down from her congressional post to compete for the PAN’s nomination.
-View her July 11, 2011 statement that Mexico is ready for a woman president.
-Visit Vásquez Mota’s website
-View her March 7, 2011 comments when she announced her intention to contend for the PAN nomination.
-See her Twitter feed.
-Review her networks on Excelsiór’s page.

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