Photo Credit: Milton Martínez / Secretaría de Cultura de la Ciudad de México
Claudia Sheinbaum, November 1, 2019.

According to a March poll, Claudia Sheinbaum, the presidential candidate representing Mexico’s ruling party, leads her opposition contender, Bertha Xóchitl Gálvez Ruiz, by a margin of 19 percentage points, Bloomberg reported. This is the first time two women are competing for the country’s highest post.

General elections will be held in Mexico on June 2. Voters will elect a new president to serve a six-year term, all 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies, and all 128 members of the Senate of the Republic.


Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, 62, is a politician, scientist, and academic who served as the Governor of Mexico City from 2018 to 2023, after being elected as the candidate of the leftist Juntos Haremos Historia coalition. She was the first woman and the first Jew to be elected to that position. But she seldom publicly acknowledges her Jewish identity and has neither emphasized nor deliberately shied away from it.

On June 12, 2023, Sheinbaum resigned from her post to seek the Morena Party’s presidential nomination in the presidential election. If elected, Sheinbaum would be the first woman and first Jew to serve as President of Mexico. On September 6, she secured her party’s nomination over her rival, former foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard.

Her campaign says that Sheinbaum “firmly supports a comprehensive agreement recognizing Israel and Palestine as sovereign states, with a focus on the United Nations’ role in achieving peace … and she stands in solidarity with Jewish and Palestinian communities amidst the ongoing conflict.”

So, now you know.

Ilan Stavans, a professor of humanities and Latin American and Latino culture at Amherst College, wrote in a NY Times Sunday op-ed that when Sheinbaum and he “were growing up in Mexico City in the 1960s, Jewish communities were sharply divided between Ashkenazi, largely from Eastern Europe and parts of Western Europe, and Sephardim, who could trace their roots to the Spanish and Portuguese expulsions. … Sheinbaum’s family is among the rare exceptions where the two groups did mix. Her maternal grandparents were Sephardic Jews who arrived in Mexico in the 1940s from Sofia, Bulgaria, escaping the Holocaust. Her paternal grandparents, who were Litvaks, or Lithuanian Jews, immigrated to Mexico in the 1920s. Her scientist parents are secular, but as a child, she celebrated Jewish holidays with her grandparents.”

Politically, Sheinbaum describes herself as a feminist, and supports the legalization of abortion, which was decriminalized in 2021, and in 2023 the Mexican Supreme Court ruled unanimously that penalizing abortions was unconstitutional. She supports LGBT rights and promoted Mexico City’s gender-neutral policy for school uniforms. In 2022, she became the first Head of Government of Mexico City to attend the city’s pride parade.

A devout leftist, Claudia Sheinbaum opposes free market capitalism and austerity policies.


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