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Mexico: Independent Candidate Jaime Rodriguez Seeks To Upend Party System

 / Updated 
Image: Jaime Rodriguez, independent candidate for governor of Nuevo Leon state, is greeted by supporters during his closing campaign rally in Monterrey
Jaime Rodriguez (C), independent candidate for governor of Nuevo Leon state, is greeted by supporters during his closing campaign rally in Monterrey, May 31, 2015. Rodriguez, alias "El Bronco," would cause one of the biggest upsets in Mexican political history if his anti-establishment campaign claims the wealthy northern state of Nuevo Leon in midterm elections to be held next Sunday.STRINGER / Reuters

If his campaign is successful, one candidate may become the first state governor in modern Mexico running as an independent with no political party.

Jaime Rodriguez, also known as "El Bronco," is running an anti-establishment campaign to become the governor of Nuevo Leon. Its capital, Monterrey, is home to many of the country's top companies including cement giant Cemex.

Using the slogan "one dead son, one kidnapped two-year-old daughter and 2,800 bullet holes in my truck," Rodriguez is tapping into the growing public anger over corruption, gang violence and slower economic growth. He was the target of two assassination attempts while mayor and his son died in a 2009 road accident which he said was an attempted kidnapping. He reported his daughter was kidnapped by the Zetas, one of Mexico's most violent drug gangs.

Rodriguez is a former member of President Enrique Peña Nieto's centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. A new law now allows independent candidates to run for high office. Nuevo Leon's current governor, a member of PRI, is battling corruption allegations.

"There's a political aristocracy with an incredible egotism, with an incredible arrogance that doesn't accept that the country has problems," said Rodriguez in May.

If he is elected he will have to work with Mexico's two dominant parties, the PRI and the PAN, and critics say this will be disastrous. Rodriguez has won support from local entrepreneurs who have complained of tax increases and local corruption.

Image: Jaime Rodriguez, independent candidate for governor of Nuevo Leon state, is greeted by supporters during his closing campaign rally in Monterrey
Jaime Rodriguez (C), independent candidate for governor of Nuevo Leon state, is greeted by supporters during his closing campaign rally in Monterrey, May 31, 2015. Rodriguez, alias "El Bronco," would cause one of the biggest upsets in Mexican political history if his anti-establishment campaign claims the wealthy northern state of Nuevo Leon in midterm elections to be held next Sunday.STRINGER / Reuters
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