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Mexico Presidential Election: 2 Political Figures Shot To Death

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MEXICO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
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TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico — A candidate for a state assembly seat was shot to death Monday in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, and a supporter of President Felipe Calderon's National Action Party died of a gunshot wound in the southern state of Chiapas, marring the campaign for Mexico's July 1 national elections with bloodshed.

The presidential and state races had been peaceful until now.

Guerrero state officials said in a statement that state assembly candidate Margarito Genchi, a member of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, was found shot to death inside his home in the village of Llano Grande, east of the resort city of Acapulco. Officials gave no other details.

Late Monday, the federal Interior Department condemned Genchi's killing and said it had offered its help in the investigation.

In Chiapas state, prosecutors said they were searching for a mayoral candidate who a witness reported shot a National Action supporter, Edgardo Hernandez, in a town outside the state capital, Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Officials didn't identify the suspect, but a cousin of the victim said the shooter was Ulises Grajales, who is running for mayor of the town of Villaflores for the former longtime ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as PRI. A state prosecutor, who agreed to discuss the case only on condition of remaining anonymous, confirmed that authorities were searching for Grajales.

The cousin, Manuel Corzo, told The Associated Press that Hernandez and two relatives were on a road after putting up posters for Calderon's conservative party when the mayoral candidate started following their vehicle.

Corzo said he saw Grajales pull out a gun and open fire. Hernandez was shot in the head and died at the scene.

PRI president Joaquin Coldwell said in a statement that the party fully supports the decision to cancel Grajales' candidacy by party authorities in Chiapas. He urged Grajales to turn himself in to authorities and face the allegations against him.