Josefina Vazquez Mota won a primary contest Sunday to become the presidential candidate of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) for July 1 elections -- and a chance to become Mexico's first woman president.
Both of the men who battled Vazquez Mota for the nomination conceded to her, and she immediately called on the party to set its sights on Enrique Pena Nieto, the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which ruled Mexico for 71 years before losing power in 2000. Pena Nieto has a sizable lead in most polls, a huge bank roll and the support of the dominant Televisa network.
The primary provided lots of drama, in part because President Felipe Calderon's favorite, Ernesto Cordero, could not build traction after a colorless campaign. Calderon has a chilly relationship with Vazquez Mota, by most accounts, and reportedly fears that she might send him adrift were she to win the presidency. See this story I wrote a few weeks ago about Calderon's legitimate fears about what travails the post presidential period may bring him.
Even so, Calderon's office sent public support for Vazquez Mota a few minutes ago, saying in a statement that he'd "communicated with Ms. Vazquez Mota to congratulate her on the triumph attained in this internal (party) process."