Michoacan votes today
Around 3.4 million voters will be choosing from 8,000 candidates for a new governor, 40 members of the State Congress of Michoacán and 113 mayors today.
There are three main contenders for the governors post. Heading the polls is Luisa Maria Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN). She is the sister of president Felipe Calderón and is standing on around 39% of the vote according to a recent GCE poll.
In second place is the Mayor of Morelia, Fausto Vellejo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He is standing on 30%. The PRI held the governorship until 2002 when it fell to the PRD.
In third place is the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate, Silvano Aureoles who is standing on 19%. The PRD have held the state since 2002.
There are two additional factors which may have an impact on the election today. On Wednesday La Piedad Mayor, Ricardo Guzman Romero, was gunned down in the street whilst he was campaigning for Luisa Maria Calderón; it is believed by drugs cartel assassins. Also, tragically, PAN Interior Minister, Francisco Blake Mora, was killed in a helicopter crash whilst flying on a visit to another state to check out security arrangements against drugs cartels. It is believed that poor visibility caused the crash.
Both incidents may well play into the hands of the PAN candidate. With this being the last state election before the July 2012 presidential and legislative elections it is key to giving an indicator as to how the later poll may go. To date the PRI have been doing well, but a win by Luisa Maria Calderón may well make the contest next year much closer.