27 September 2006
Tomato King makes more news
Andres Bermudez, a.k.a. The Tomato King, recently captured a congress seat for the National Action Party (PAN) after two embattled years in the Jerez, Zacatecas mayor's office. Bermudez, who almost always dresses in black cowboy clothing, made news most recently for not taking off his large hat while addressing congress. (Opposition lawmakers jeered him.) The offence, on the scale of things that go on in Mexico's somewhat disfunctional congress and senate, is rather minor, but it's kept him in the news.
Bermudez was also chosen as the PAN leader in congress. He told reporters after being chosen, "Of course I'll keep being the king of tomatoes!" and promised to give all of the media members trips to Disneyland "so that there they can fulfill their dreams and declare Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador or Mickey Mouse president ... whoever they want!"
He gained fame, of course, by inventing a tomato planting device that supposedly earned him a fortune and then returning to Zacatecas from California to start a political career. Although now a panista, Bermudez originally ran for mayor under the PRD banner in 2001. The left-leaning party later rejected him as a candidate in 2004.