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Mexico City mayor to run for president in 2018

Miguel Angel Mancera

Miguel Angel Mancera

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera has joined an early group of presidential hopefuls and left the door open for an historic run as an independent in the 2018 race.

“I want to be president,” Mancera, the mega-city’s 49-year-old former chief prosecutor, told Milenio television late Monday.

Mancera was elected mayor in 2012 under the banner of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) but he is not a member of it, giving him the option to run as an independent.

“You have to think about what’s best for Mexico,” Mancera said.

Independents were able to run for office for the first time in a June 7 midterm vote, resulting in the historic election of Jaime “El Bronco” Rodriguez as governor of Nuevo Leon, the first without a party affiliation.

An avid runner and yoga buff, Mancera said his experience as prosecutor was like “an intensive, 24-hour per day course for 365 days a year” that prepared him to handle Mexico’s drug-related security problems.

Mancera is the third politician to announce his presidential aspirations.

On Sunday, former first lady Margarita Zavala, the wife of ex-president Felipe Calderon, said she would seek the presidency. The former federal lawmaker is a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN).

Leftist former Mexico City mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a two-time presidential candidate for the PRD in 2006 and 2012, has also announced his plans to run for his new party, Morena.

President Enrique Pena Nieto, of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), cannot run again under Mexico’s single, six-year term limit.

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