A new chapter in the political career of Pedro Kumamoto kicked off this week, when the 28-year-old state legislator informed the National Electoral Institute (INE) that he intends to run for the Mexican Senate as an independent candidate in 2018.
If the INE accepts his application, he will have three months to gather 115,000 signatures supporting his run from citizens in at least ten of Jalisco’s 20 electoral districts.
Prior to registering his candidacy, Kumamoto filed for a leave of absence from the state legislature, where he represents the state’s Tenth District in Zapopan. He denied accusations that he was behaving like other politicians who fail to see out their terms of office to “jump like crickets” into more important jobs. Kumamoto said he has fulfilled 90 percent of his promised agenda and unlike the political elite, he has no guaranteed future within the ranks of a party and offers favors to no one.
If elected to the Senate, Kumamoto said he will renounce 70 percent of his salary, as he has done in the state legislature for the past two years.
Three other members of Wikipolitica, the political grouping that has grown up around Kumamoto, have registered to run as independent candidates for the federal Chamber of Deputies and the Jalisco legislature in next year’s elections.
Pablo Torres, a 24-year-old student, will step into Kumamoto’s place in the Jalisco Congress for the remainder of his three-year term of office. As the suplente (designated replacement), he has spent the past six months familiarizing himself with the legislative process.
Meanwhile, the governor of Nuevo Leon, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, colloquially known as “El Bronco,” announced he will be registering as an independent candidate for next year’s presidential election. The registration deadline for independent candidates ends this Saturday.