Mexican Ruling Party Picks Woman As Prez Candidate

Published February 6, 2012 2:54AM (EST)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's ruling party has chosen a former congresswoman to run for president, the first time a major party has nominated a woman to compete for the nation's top office.

The National Action Party's vote for 51-year-old Josefina Vazquez Mota over two other candidates sets the race for the July 1 presidential election. The two other major parties have already selected their candidates.

Vazquez Mota faces an uphill climb against former Mexico state Gov. Enrique Pena Nieto. He is the front-runner in current polls and could return the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to power after a 12-year hiatus.

Vazquez Mota is considered Pena Nieto's strongest potential challenger. Her victory was widely expected.

By Salon Staff

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