Third-party candidate leaves Mexico's 2024 presidential race. Next leader now likely to be a woman

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A third-party candidate announced Saturday he is leaving , practically ensuring ’s next president will be a woman.

Samuel García, the governor of the northern border state of Nuevo Leon, said Saturday he won’t run for president in the June 2 elections. He had been polling below 10% in the race, and was given almost no chance of actually winning.

That leaves only the ruling and the opposition coalition's candidates, both of whom are women. While García's small Citizen's Movement party could yet nominate another male candidate, García's troubled exit suggests the party won't be able to find anyone of much stature to run.

Gov. García’s decision came after one of the wilder chapters in Mexican politics. On Friday, the border state across from Texas briefly saw two interim governors designated to replace García, who had asked for a six-month leave of absence to campaign for president.

Mexican law requires any official to resign or take a leave at least six months before running for office. With the presidential elections on June 2, that meant Friday was the last day for García to do so. But in view of the conflict, García had to drop his presidential bid to put his state in order.