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Candidate Profile: Samuel García Sepúlveda

Lauren TerMaat

Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda is a Mexican politician who currently serves as the Governor of the northern border state of Nuevo León. At just 35 years old, he is a young and energetic politician that has been announced as the candidate that will represent the centrist Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) party in the 2024 presidential race. 

García was born and raised in Monterrey, Nuevo León, and studied at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITSEM), where he earned both a bachelor’s degree in law and finance and a master’s degree in public law. He also holds a doctorate degree in public policy and public administration from the Escuela de Graduados en Administración Pública y Política Pública at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, as well as another doctorate in fiscal law from the Universidad ITAC. At the moment, he is pursuing a third doctorate at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) in constitutional law and governance. He has written three books, and he is also a professor of Tax Law at UANL. 

 García began his political career in 2015 as a local Deputy for District 18 of Nuevo León, a position which he held until 2018. He then served as a Senator for Nuevo León from 2018 to 2020. In 2021, he was elected Governor of Nuevo León, the youngest governor in the history of the state at 33 years old. García represents Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizens’ Movement), a center left-wing party that has traditionally been pro-business and advocates for economic restructuring via reduced regulation.

As a millennial politician, García is known for his savvy use of social media, frequently posting photos and videos with his young daughter Mariel and his wife Mariana Rodríguez Cantú, a social media influencer. Although he faces criticism for his use of social media and his lack of extensive political experience, these traits endear him to younger voters and place him in contrast to traditional politicans. However, there have been a few instances where García has come under fire for being out-of-touch with voters for comments he has made. For example, in December 2020, he discussed in an interview that his childhood was difficult because his father forced García to play golf with him on Saturday mornings. 

In his short tenure as Governor of Nuevo León, which is a relatively wealthy and industrial region, García has spearheaded a “nearshoring” trend that has attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment. García is especially well-known for facilitating the investment of over $1 billion from Chinese firms linked to Tesla in Nuevo León, in relation to Tesla’s planned new factory in the northern state. Recently, the government of Nuevo León announced that the toy company Lego will invest more than $200 million to expand production in the state. 

 In late October 2023, García announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from his position as Governor, a request that was approved by Congress, clearing the path for him to pursue a presidential candidacy. In a video posted on his social media on November 12, 2023, García shared that he would officially register as a presidential candidate for Movimiento Ciudadano. As a third party candidate, García has the potential to split opposition votes in the June 2024 presidential elections.

About the Author

Lauren TerMaat

Lauren TerMaat

Staff Assistant Intern, Mexico Institute
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