On Sunday, June 4, the states of Estado de México, Coahuila, and Nayarit will hold gubernatorial elections. Congressional elections will also be held in Coahuila and Nayarit states, along with city council elections in Coahuila, Nayarit, and Veracruz. The official electoral season began on Thursday, June 1, and will end at 18:00 on June 4 when polls close. All political campaigning is prohibited during this period.
Political violence (attacks, assassinations) is common in Mexico and rates typically increase in the run-up to elections, including local, statewide, and national votes. A wave of deadly political violence, including more than 70 reported attacks against candidates, shook various regions prior to the June 2015 general elections. Much of this violence is the carried out by organized crime groups, which are powerful and highly active in many areas of the country, including Estado de México.
Political rallies and protests - with the potential to turn violent - are also to be anticipated in the coming days.
The election of Estado de México is particularly significant as the gubernatorial election is seen as a key indicator for the outcome of the 2018 presidential election. Delfina Gómez of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) leads the polls in Estado de México with current projections placing her at 32 percent of the vote. Alfredo Del Mazo of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is currently in second place at 31 percent and Josefina Vázquez Mota of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) is in third place with 18 percent. Each candidate has accused the others of corruption and promised to reform state police and reduce crime.
The PRI has held the governor's office in the State of Mexico for over 80 years, meaning that a Morena win would signal a significant shift in Mexican politics. The populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Morena is a front-runner for the presidential elections and would gain significant momentum and campaign contributions from a Morena victory in the gubernatorial election.
Individuals are advised to avoid all demonstrations and polling stations due to the risk of violence or other unrest, to keep abreast of the situation, and to avoid politically sensitive discussions in public.