Two women campaign to become France's 1st female president

PARIS (AP) — Two French politicians have kicked off their presidential campaigns to become France's first female leader in next year's spring election.

The far-right National Rally party's Marine Le Pen and Paris' Socialist mayor, Anne Hidalgo, both launched their platforms Sunday.

Hidalgo, 62, mayor of the French capital since 2014, is the favorite to win the Socialist Party nomination.

Invoking her immigrant roots, Hidalgo said "I want all children in France to have the same opportunities I had."

Le Pen, 53, started her campaign in the southern city of Frejus with a pledge to defend French "liberty."

They join a burgeoning list of challengers to centrist President Emmanuel Macron.

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