(JTA) – Mexico City elected a Jewish woman as mayor Sunday — setting two firsts for the largest city in North America.

A woman had previously been appointed Mexico City’s mayor on an interim basis for a year in 1999, but Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo is the first woman to be publicly elected to the office.

The city, home to around 50,000 Jews, has also never had a Jewish mayor.

Sheinbaum, 55, the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Bulgaria, is a respected scientist who holds a doctorate in engineering and physics. She is a member of the leftist National Regeneration Movement party and has close ties to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the party’s leader and Mexico’s newly-elected president.

The party has promised to bring significant change to the country by cutting down on crime and governmental corruption.

“Just because I might look like a skinny scientist doesn’t mean I’m not going to crack down on crime here. I will,” she said at a recent rally according to multiple reports.

Sheinbaum, who previously served as Mexico’s secretary of the environment, said at a recent speech that she celebrated Jewish holidays growing up.

Lopez Obrador’s landslide victory, which puts a leftist party in charge for the first time in generations, could usher in a new era of politics in Mexico, which has been ruled by traditional, mainstream parties for nearly two decades.

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