February 23, 2021
Karla Ruiz, formerly Tijuana’s Secretary of Education, took office as Mayor of Tijuana earlier this month following Arturo Gonzalez’ resignation—who left office due to family reasons and announced he will not seek re-election. This is the second time since October that he has stepped down from his role, having abruptly returned after less than a month the first time. Once again, Ruiz became the first female mayor in the city’s history. She joins Mexicali Mayor Marina del Pilar Avila, Mayor of Tecate Zulema Adams, and Mayor of Rosarito Araceli Brown, with now four out of five municipalities in Baja under female leadership.
Within days of taking office, Mayor Ruiz registered as a pre-candidate with the MORENA party seeking to potentially continue her work as Mayor of Tijuana, and has already met with regional authorities from both sides of the border including Baja Governor Jaime Bonilla, Mexicali Mayor and governor candidate Marina del Pilar Avila, and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. She has been vocal about her commitment to strengthening binational ties and addressing cross-border priorities such as a coordinated COVID-19 response, promoting trade, and mitigating transboundary pollution impacting the Tijuana River Valley. In addition, Ruiz announced a strategic plan for her first 60 days in office which includes immediate action to ensure public health and safety; increase transparency; advance infrastructure development and mobility projects; address environmental issues; and a list of initiatives that contribute to increase quality of life.
The Chamber looks forward to working with Mayor Ruiz and supporting her administration as we continue our work to facilitate and strengthen cross-border commerce and reactivate our binational economy.
In other election news, Tijuana businessman and former mayor Jorge Hank Rhon will be running for governor of Baja with PESBC (Partido Encuentro Solidario de Baja California), a conservative political party that has partnered with MORENA in the past including the coalition that secured President Lopez Obrador’s election in 2018. The remaining opposition formed a coalition composed of the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), PAN (Partido Accion Nacional), and PRD (Partido Revolucionario Democratico) political parties. The coalition has yet to announce any candidates.
Upcoming elections for governor, as well as for local offices across Baja, will take place in June 2021.