Mexico’s Congressional Elections: 5 Things to Know

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After a flamboyant campaign season in which we saw some pretty unlikely candidates (aging telenovela stars, a Narco Film actress and soccer star Cuauhtémoc Blanco, among others), along with some pretty absurd, cringe-worthy campaign ads, Mexicans headed to the polls on Sunday to elect their state representatives. Up for grabs were 500 seats in the lower chamber of Congress, approximately 900 mayorships, and nine of the 31 state governorships. Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s results.


Voter Turn Out Was at 47%

According to the Instituto Nacional Electoral, the elections drew a turn out of 47-48%. It sounds low, but it’s actually a pretty decent for a midterm election, which usually draws a light turn out.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Retained Congress Majority

Despite President Peña Nieto’s dismal approval ratings, which plummeted after Mexico’s escalating violence, last year’s Ayotzinapa crisis, and the la casa blanca corruption scandal, he managed to hold on to the simple majority in congress.

Nuevo Leon Made History By Electing Independent Governor 'El Bronco'

Independent candidate for Nuevo León, Jaime Rodriguez a.k.a “El Bronco”, won voters’ hearts with his straight-shooting, populist ranchero persona. He ran on an anti-narco campaign, vowing to take on Los Zetas and corrupt government elites in what were often unvarnished, expletive-laden tirades.

His landslide election as the country’s first independent governor is a clear sign of voters’ frustration with established political parties.

Soccer Star Cuauhtémoc Blanco Also Won Election

Blanco was elected as mayor of Cuernavaca for the Partido Social Demócrata. On the subject of his victory, he had this eloquent statement to say: “Me los chingué.”


El Piojo Herrera and Oribe Peralta Came Under Fire for His Pro-Partido Verde Tweets

El Partido Verde (PVEM) broke electoral law by soliciting endorsement tweets from celebrities with large social media followings, including the beloved coach of Mexico’s national soccer team, Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera, who sent several pro-Partido Verde tweets during Mexico’s friendly against Brazil:

Despite corruption allegations, PVEM won a slight majority in the lower House of Deputies.