Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo Secures Historic Victory: Who Is Mexico's New President? Know All About Her

Before running for president, Ms. Sheinbaum served as mayor of Mexico City, one of the most influential political positions in the country, often seen as a stepping stone to the presidency. Ms. Sheinbaum, whose Jewish maternal grandparents fled the German occupation and immigrated to Mexico from Bulgaria, had a distinguished career as a scientist before entering politics.

Mexico’s official electoral authority reported that preliminary results indicate the 61-year-old former mayor of Mexico City won between 58% and 60% of the vote in Sunday’s election. This gives her nearly a 30 percentage point lead over her main competitor, businesswoman Xóchitl Gálvez.

Ms. Sheinbaum is set to succeed her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on October 1. In her victory speech, she addressed the voters and said, “I won’t fail you.”

Ms. Sheinbaum, a former energy scientist, has pledged continuity, stating that she will build on the “advances” made by Mr. López Obrador.

Who Is Claudia Sheinbaum?

Before running for president, Ms. Sheinbaum served as mayor of Mexico City, one of the most influential political positions in the country, often seen as a stepping stone to the presidency. Ms. Sheinbaum, whose Jewish maternal grandparents fled the German occupation and immigrated to Mexico from Bulgaria, had a distinguished career as a scientist before entering politics. Her paternal grandparents were from Lithuania.

Both of her parents were scientists, and Ms. Sheinbaum studied physics, eventually earning a doctorate in energy engineering. She spent years at a renowned research lab in California, studying Mexican energy consumption patterns and becoming an expert on climate change.

This expertise, combined with her student activism, led to her appointment as the secretary of the environment for Mexico City during Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s tenure as mayor. In 2018, she became the first female mayor of Mexico City, a position she held until 2023, when she stepped down to run for president.

A Transformative Election

The election, which saw Ms. Sheinbaum competing against Ms. Gálvez, has been hailed as a transformative moment for women in Mexico. Edelmira Montiel, 87, expressed her gratitude for being alive to witness a woman elected to the highest office.

“Before, we couldn’t even vote, and when you could, it was to vote for the person your husband told you to vote for. Thank God that has changed and I get to live it,” she told Reuters news agency, referring to the fact that women were only allowed to vote in national elections in 1953.

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