Mexico’s Samuel Garcia pulls out of 2024 presidential race By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Governor of Nuevo Leon state Samuel Garcia poses for a picture with students as he arrives at an event of school equipment delivery at the Prepa Tec high school, in Monterrey, Mexico April 25, 2023. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Samuel Garcia, one of the two main opposition hopefuls competing in Mexico’s 2024 presidential election, has withdrawn from the contest to return to his post as governor of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, his party said on Saturday.

“I have decided to not participate in the electoral race for President of the Republic,” the 35-year-old Garcia said in a statement from the Nuevo Leon government made public by his center-left Citizens’ Movement (MC) party.

Six weeks ago, Garcia said he would stand down as governor to seek the candidacy of MC, which has remained apart from the main right-left opposition alliance bidding to oust the ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) in the June 2024 vote.

Garcia then became embroiled in a dispute about who would replace him in Nuevo Leon, where his political opponents control the state legislature, which votes in the interim governor.

Garcia wanted an MC ally to take the helm but the opposition-controlled legislature this week voted in former state prosecutor Luis Enrique Orozco as replacement governor. Garcia’s u-turn came just as Orozco was due to assume power.

Recent opinion polls have given Garcia around 10% support in the presidential race, putting him behind Xochitl Galvez, candidate of the main opposition alliance.

Both lag far behind the front-runner, former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, candidate of the leftist MORENA.

MC will determine in the coming days how to move forward with its selection process, party leader Dante Delgado said.

The party is expected to announce its candidate on Jan. 20.

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