State of Nuevo Leon sets a New Path in Mexican Elections
Guest Feature for Molera Alvarez by Hugo González, Co-Founder of HDS Lobbying Services, a government affairs and business development firm in Monterrey, Mexico.
The northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon has made history in this month’s elections and is on a path to further set itself apart from the rest of the country, both politically and economically. Nuevo Leon is not afraid to break the mold, seeking new models of government to develop the economy and education. It was the first Mexican state to elect an Independent governor (not affiliated with a political party) in Mexico 6 years ago. Now Nuevo Leon has elected as its new governor Dr. Samuel Garcia – another pathbreaker who ran as part of a newly popular social-democratic political party, Movimiento Ciudadano, and is the youngest governor to be elected in Nuevo Leon history at 33 years old.
Garcia is highly educated with doctorates in public administration and fiscal law, and has a strong political background, having served as a Senator and local Representative in Nuevo Leon. His campaign gained prominence in large part due to the strong social media savvy of his wife, Mariana Rodríguez, who is an influencer. His victory was largely attributed to young voters, who supported his calls for counterbalance and political civility and approved of his vision to build a new Nuevo Leon, including a new public transportation system, infrastructure program, and regional airport hub.
The private sector and key business chambers look favorably upon this new government in terms of economic development and job creation. Now Garcia’s challenge is to select executive positions in his government by October when he takes office.
Nuevo Leon’s capital city of Monterrey also has a new mayor – Luis Donaldo Colosio. He, too, is of the Movimiento Ciudadano party, making Monterrey the only state in Mexico now dominated by a new party at the state and local level. This adds to business confidence, as there is likely to be strong communication and support between the governor and mayor of Monterey.
Nuevo Leon has experienced strong growth even during the pandemic, creating more jobs than Mexico’s second and first-largest states, Jalisco and Mexico City. Monterrey is the third-largest city in Mexico, making Nuevo Leon, a state inhabited by 5.1 million people, the commercial, industrial, educational, and transportation hub of northern Mexico. Located only a 2-hour drive from Texas, the state leads the country in Foreign Direct Investment attraction. It serves as a national headquarters for top companies like Kia and General Electric and attracts high-tech investment from companies like German automotive supplier ZF Group, which recently announced plans to locate 800 jobs to Nuevo Leon to test autonomous vehicle technologies. Nuevo Leon also has the lowest poverty rate in Mexico.
There are certainly high expectations of the new government from an already high-performing state, but the Nuevo Leon business community will need to work together with key elected officials and their staff for the new administration’s well-laid plans to bear fruit.