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Claudia Sheinbaum to be Mexico’s first woman, Jewish president

The former Mexico City mayor has an insurmountable lead over her opponents, who have conceded the race.

Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, the head of government of Mexico City, on Aug. 6, 2022. Credit: Octavio Hoyos/Shutterstock.
Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, the head of government of Mexico City, on Aug. 6, 2022. Credit: Octavio Hoyos/Shutterstock.

Mexico has elected its first female and first Jewish president by a landslide, according to preliminary data from the country’s election board.

According to the most recent sample data, former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, the protege of current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had received 58.3-60.7% of votes, versus the next best with around 27%. 

Her opponents had called to concede, she told reporters after the preliminary results were released.

“I will become the first woman president of Mexico,” she said, according to AP. “We have demonstrated that Mexico is a democratic country with peaceful elections.”

Though Sheinbaum will be the country’s first Jewish president, she is not involved in her faith in any meaningful way, experts told JNS last week.

“She’s not a product of the Mexican Jewish community,” said Dalia Wassner, director of the Jews of the Americas initiative at Brandeis University. “She is a descendant of Jews that immigrated to Mexico, but she herself did not participate in the Jewish community.” 

“Certainly she does not, as an adult, have any kind of involvement or affiliation at all,” she added.

Dina Siegel Vann, a native of Mexico City and director of the American Jewish Committee’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs, told JNS that Sheinbaum is not only unaffiliated with the community but also is not a ritually observant Jew.

Both Sheinbaum and López Obrador share populist, left-wing politics, but unlike some other Latin American leaders, neither has made Israel and the war against Hamas in Gaza central to their rhetoric.

Siegel Vann told JNS that Sheinbaum was likely to continue López Obrador’s Israel policies, which have included giving the Jewish state a cold shoulder diplomatically and backing the “genocide” case against Israel at the International Court of Justice but stopped short of breaking diplomatic ties.

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