Mexican governor-elect says he is a ‘4×4’

Mexico City, June 16 (IANS) With a strong voice and personality, uninhibited and frank like many rural men, Jaime “El Bronco” Rodriguez says that he is going to save the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon because he is “a 4×4” that does not stall “in the puddle”.

He already demonstrated that quality in his election campaign when he triumphed over the political machinery of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative PAN, with very little in the way of a campaign budget but a significant presence on social networks.

Thus, in October, he will become the first independent candidate to govern a Mexican state, a situation made possible starting with the June 7 elections after a reform implemented in 2014, Spanish news agency Efe reported on Monday.

And he will not be the head of just any state. Nuevo Leon is the jewel in the Mexican crown, being the country’s richest and most industrialised state which, in recent years, has been beset by violence perpetrated by organised crime.

The idea of running as an independent candidate arose when Rodriguez started to see that the traditional political parties were beginning to have internal problems: “They only fight for power, but not for the resolution of social problems,” he said in an interview with Efe.

After “85 years of political parties in Mexico, I think that this system is exhausted”, said El Bronco, explaining that that was the reason he left the PRI after being a member for 33 years.

With independent candidacies “you won’t have the burden and weight of a political party”, said Rodriguez, who is convinced that this will lead to a system where citizens will be able to participate politically in a manner that is “responsible, voluntary and free”.

In his campaign, “we don’t use television or ad spots — we simply ask people what their needs are”, he said.

This politician, who was the mayor of the town of Garcia from 2009-2012 and survived two attacks by organised crime, describes himself as an efficient, transparent, honest and risk-taking person.

He said he was “happy” with his triumph at the polls, where he garnered 49 percent of the votes to the PRI candidate’s 22 percent and PAN’s 24 percent.

“I want my children to feel proud of their dad, because if I’m working for my kids, I’m working for the kids of everyone else,” he said.

Because of his boots, his sombrero and his horse, he has been compared to former President Vicente Fox, who governed from 2000 to 2006, and because of his common way of talking with leftist firebrand and two-time presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

However, this 57-year-old agronomist has made it clear that he does not like those two comparisons and — if he resembles anyone — it’s the Lone Ranger, the masked character created by writer Fran Striker.

“I consider myself to be like that because, just like he goes around saving towns, I’m going to save Nuevo Leon,” said El Bronco.

Rodriguez promised to investigate the outgoing PRI administration of Governor Rodrigo Medina and punish anyone found to have engaged in corrupt practices, transforming Nuevo Leon into the cradle of a revolution that will change the attitudes of many Mexicans.

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