By MARK LORENZANA
Delfina Gómez, the gubernatorial candidate of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), is leading an unofficial survey for the State of Mexico (EdoMex) June 4 elections, which was released by Mexican daily newspaper Reforma on Thursday, Feb. 23.
The results of the unofficial poll, which was conducted by Reforma this month, showed Gómez leading the pack with 55 percent, followed by Alejandra del Moral of the centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) with 41 percent. Juan Zepeda of the Citizen’s Movement Party (MC) came in a distant third with 4 percent.
Aside from the 14 percent lead of Gómez over Del Moral, the Reforma poll also detailed that 51 percent of the respondents surveyed had already made up their minds on who to vote for, 28 percent could still change their minds, while 17 percent are undecided.
Regarding their opinion on the candidates, 40 percent of respondents said they have a good opinion of Gómez, while 29 percent said they have favorable views of Del Moral. On the other hand, 14 percent expressed a negative opinion of Gómez, with 17 percent saying the same of Del Moral.
Meanwhile, Morena has filed 23 electoral complaints against Del Moral, with Horacio Duarte, campaign coordinator of Gómez, urging the National Electoral Institute (INE) to “speed up the resolution” of the cases and, where appropriate, “issue corresponding sanctions.”
Duarte served as director of the National Customs Agency (ANAM) under the López Obrador administration, but stepped down in October of last year “to dedicate himself to the ‘master battle’ in EdoMex.”
The former ANAM director was once positioned by Morena as a possible choice for the governorship of EdoMex — along with Ecatepec Mayor Fernando Vilchis — but Gómez has since become the official candidate, which triggered her resignation as the head of the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) in August of last year.
Duarte likewise demanded from incumbent EdoMex Governor Alfredo del Mazo of the PRI that he “stop meddling” in the “electoral processes” of the upcoming gubernatorial elections.
“I call on the governor of the State of Mexico that no official from his government should meddle in the electoral processes,” said Duarte. “They should avoid breaking the commitment of not dipping their hands in the electoral process, especially in the use of public resources to support their standard bearer, PRI candidate Alejandra del Moral.”
Duarte also shielded Gómez from allegations against the former SEP head’s La Escuela Es Nuestra (LEEN) program, which she implemented during her tenure as education secretary.
“There is no accusation against teacher Delfina, it is a crude lie and an attack,” said Duarte. “With a report from the Superior Audit of the Federation (ASF), they (the opposition) insist that there are irregularities, when the report only shows a series of recommendations to improve the La Escuela Es Nuestra program.”
The ASF audit, however, revealed that Gómez spent more than 13 billion pesos in her LEEN program, “without evidence of improvements,” and aside from the lack of results, the ASF audit reported “irregularities and anomalies,” chief among them “diverting resources to deceased beneficiaries, doubling the amount of benefits and depositing money to unapproved bank accounts.”
This is not the first time Gómez has faced controversy in her checkered political career so far.
During her tenure as mayor of the city of Texcoco in EdoMex, from 2013 to 2015, Gómez was found guilty of withholding 10 percent of the salaries of close to 500 municipal workers in Texcoco and funneling the money into Morena’s coffers. In late 2021, the INE had gathered evidence of Gómez taking a cut of the workers’ salaries through checks from the City Council of Texcoco, which she herself signed.