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Is former ‘golden boy’ of local politics losing his glitter?

Has an optimistic young man with lofty goals of changing Mexico’s political system dominated by elitist, corrupt parties finally opted out by throwing in his lot with Morena, a party which, in the eyes of some Mexicans, is little more than a renaissance of the nation’s failed populist past?

pg7aIn 2015, Pedro Kumamoto, an earnest 24-year-old from a middle-class Guadalajara family recently graduated from the Jesuit ITESO university, ran as an independent candidate in a Zapopan district and, to everyone’s amazement, won the election, making him the first independent state legislator in the history of Mexico.

That achievement made him a national and international celebrity, although his career has been far more bumpy and less electrifying since then.   Almost overnight, Kumamoto became a figurehead for smart young Mexicans who did not identify with any of the political parties.

His main success as a legislator was getting laws passed reducing the large sums political parties receive from the public pot, an initiative known as “Sin Voto Noy Hay Dinero.” Kumamoto had waged his campaign on less than 250,000 pesos of small donations, a pittance compared to his rivals. No donation above 7,000 pesos was accepted.

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