Voters in the Mexican state of Zacatecas have chosen a woman to be governor for the first time in Mexico since the end of one-party domination. Amalia Garcia, of the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) claimed victory in state elections this past Sunday, according to The Guardian. The daughter of a former governor of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Mexico’s ruling party for 71 straight years until 2000, Garcia is also the first governor of either sex to have begun their political career in a leftist party.
First a member of the communist party, Garcia became a founding member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, which formed in the late 1980’s as the uncontested power of the PRI seemed to be diminishing. The Seattle Times cited Garcia’s win this past weekend as a likely boost for her party that in recent years has lacked influence in most areas of the country.
Garcia faces many challenges in governing Zacatecans, a state where at least half of its total population of three million has left for migrant work in the United States in order to be able to send money home to their family, reports Gulf News. However, she attributes her victory to the vast number of female supporters remaining in her state where many of the men have left to work in areas of California, Texas or Illinois. Garcia told the Associated Press, “Never before had I seen women so involved in the political process and in leadership roles in their communities, and this is a result of the migration.”