Mexico City, the largest city in North America, elected its first-ever female mayor on Sunday, making history. According to exit polls, Claudia Sheinbaum earned between 47.5% and 55.5% of the vote in the race against six other candidates and will lead Mexico’s capital.
While Sheinbaum is not the first woman to hold the post — Rosario Robles served as interim mayor in 1999 — the 56-year-old is the first to have been democratically elected to the position.
Sheinbaum is an environmental engineer with a PhD in physics, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). She served as environmental secretary under Mayor Andres Manuel López Obrador, her predecessor. Though Sheinbaum considers herself a science researcher at heart, according to Science Magazine, she wants others to know that she’s serious about making change.
"Just because I might look like a skinny scientist doesn't mean I'm not going to crack down on crime here. I will," Sheinbaum told a crowd during her campaign.
Sheinbaum was one of more than 3,000 female candidates — a record-breaking number — to run in Mexico’s local and national elections this year, NPR reported. Over the past nine months, 132 political candidates have been killed in Mexico, making this election season an especially dangerous one for political hopefuls.
But Sheinbaum has remained undeterred and unafraid.
"We've converted fear into hope, hate into love, despondency into willpower, frustration into trust. There's no going back, this July 1, let's make history!" she tweeted on June 27.
Hemos convertido el miedo en esperanza, el odio en amor, el desánimo en voluntad, la frustración en confianza. No hay marcha atrás, este 1º de julio ¡Vamos a hacer historia! pic.twitter.com/PgI0DYY7KQ— Claudia Sheinbaum (@Claudiashein) June 28, 2018
People are celebrating the historic win on social media.
OMMG!! Claudia Sheinbaum just became the first woman elected as mayor of la Ciudad de México!! She’s a Jewish scientist and environmentalist!— Edwin Carmona-Cruz (@edwin_carey) July 2, 2018
🙌🏾🇲🇽 What a night!!
Um, y’all, she’s also a scientist *swoon* https://t.co/vBsHG7OnX3— Abigail Collazo (@LeftStandingUp) July 2, 2018
Tonight, Mexico City elected a progressive scientist named Claudia Sheinbaum as its mayor. She is the first woman and the first Jewish person to hold this post. Maybe we’ll catch up with progress and representation soon. ♥️💚🇲🇽 #SheinbaumJefaDeGobiernohttps://t.co/GuulC3hkkV— jeremy rosenberg 🌈 (@JeremyR1992) July 2, 2018
Incredible. For the first time in my life, a woman will finally be Mayor of my hometown of México City. @Claudiashein wins election for #CDMX Head of Government. (@Reforma ) pic.twitter.com/LXvCzqMMy7— Ángel Pérez Cortés (@aeperezcortes) July 2, 2018
This is HUUUUUGE! Claudia Sheinbaum will become the first woman elected mayor of Mexico City--a progressive environmental engineer who will make transportation and water a top priority. And #AmLO has won the presidency in a landslide victory. Felicidades al pueblo de #México! https://t.co/zjoGV4N9jV— Carrie Tirado Bramen (@CBramen) July 2, 2018