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Fifteen Years Later: Villarreal Redux

By Jesús Aguado

With the motto “with the people everything, without them nothing,” Luis Alberto Villarreal began his mayoral campaign on April 29 of this year. Just a couple of months later, on July 5, he received the official election certificate that acknowledges him as mayor-elect for the 2018-2021 term.

This will not be Villarreal’s first time in the mayor’s seat. He was previously elected San Miguel de Allende’s mayor in 2003.

On Sunday, July 1, 62,231 people voted in San Miguel de Allende. The voter rolls consist of 128,405 registered voters. Villarreal, who was a PAN party candidate, won the election with 23,951 votes (217 less than his brother, in 2015, Ricardo Villarreal). The remaining 38,280 voters cast their ballots for other candidates or cancelled their voting forms. The votes are broken down in a chart at the end of this article.

The election concluded on Sunday, July 1 at 6pm. That day, Villarreal—based on some exit polls—declared himself the winner at 6:30pm. Four hours later, he addressed his supporters at 10:30pm, around the time when the first ballot boxes began arriving at the Instituto Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Institute), known as INE, on the Libramiento Manuel Zavala.

The electoral council declared a recess on July 2 at around noon. President Cecilia González told Atención that eight of the ballot boxes presented inconsistences—they did not have their electoral reporting form with the final results affixed to the outside but placed inside along with the votes. (Those boxes were opened on July 4, when the electoral council reconvened.)

Representatives of parties like MORENA and SOMOS asked the council to do a recount of all 223 electoral reporting forms. The council agreed.

Elected Mayor Villarreal and his followers started arriving at the INE offices at 6pm, because at that time “allegedly” he would receive the certificate as elected mayor. The national president of the party PAN Marcelo Torres Cofiño accompanied Villarreal and said, “in the PAN we are very happy because the Best City in the World will have the best mayor of Mexico.” After that speech, Villarreal repeated his campaign motto, and fireworks were then set off.

While that was happening outside, the electoral council continued their work counting ballots. At around 10pm, Luis Alberto Villarreal left with his team and said, “We will come back later.”

At 10:30pm that day, the election council declared a recess because they noticed that there were six electoral reporting forms with results from polling sites, but the boxes with the votes that went with them, as well as other associated material, were missing. Officials believed that the missing materials where simply misplaced somewhere in one of the federal or state election offices. They were later found, and a recess was declared at midnight. Finally, the results were published the next day, and the certificate to acknowledge Villarreal as San Miguel de Allende’s new mayor-elect was handed out.

Years, Candidates, and Numbers

In 2003, when Luis Alberto Villarreal previously won the mayoral seat, it was a much tighter race. Out of a total of 41,358 people who voted, 16,604 gave Villarreal their votes while 15,450 people voted for Villarreal’s closest contender, Manuel Rosas, a PRD/PR coalition candidate. Don Luis Ferro de la Sota, who had been mayor of San Miguel twice already at the time, ran with the PRI party and received only 5,781 votes.

The PAN party, which emphasizes conservative economic and social ideas, has had a mostly firm grip on the city’s politics for several years: The PAN party ruled San Miguel from 1997 until 2009, until, after 12 years of PAN rule, Luz María Núñez Flores emerged as the “citizens’ candidate,” running under the umbrella of three parties (PRI, PVE and PRD). She won that election with 27,553 votes out of a total of 50,816 votes cast. PRI voters gave her 12,451 votes, PRD voters 10,947, and PVE voters 3,495. Her closest contender, PAN candidate Cristóbal Franyuti, got 9,000 fewer votes than Núñez.

In the 2012 election, PRI/PV coalition candidate Mauricio Trejo won the mayoral race with 29,323 votes. PAN party candidate (and the new mayor-elect’s brother) Ricardo Villarreal received 24,168 votes, surpassing the PRI party, which garnered 16,173 votes.

 

Final Votes

National Action Party (PAN) 23,951

Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) 6,650

Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) 1,574

Green Party (PVEM) 2,604

Work Party (PT) 1,684

Citizens’ Movement (PMC) 698

New Alliance (PANAL) 2,711

Movement of National Regeneration (MORENA) 12,598

Social Encounter (PES)

SOMOS 4,373

Better Times for San Miguel 1,550

Nonregistered Candidates 105

Cancelled Votes 2,571

Total 62,231

 

Elected City Council

Mayor, Luis Alberto Villarreal García

Assistant Mayor, Verónica Agundis Estrada

City Councillor, PAN, Felipe Tapia Campos

City Councillor, PAN, Luz María Gutiérrez

City Councillor, PAN, Pável Hernández

City Councillor, PAN, Patricia Villa

City Councillor, PRI, María Elena Vázquez

City Councillor, Partido Verde, Alan Romo

City Councillor, PANAL, Humberto Campos

City Councillor, MORENA, Cristóbal Olvera

City Councillor, MORENA, Laura González

 

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