São Paulo governor to make presidential bid official

governor João Doria is aiming for the country's top office. Photo: Valter Campanato/ABr
João Doria is aiming for the country’s top office. Photo: Valter Campanato/ABr

São Paulo Governor João Doria is set to formally announce his presidential bid in an event in Brasília on Monday. Mr. Doria is expected to face off against his Rio Grande do Sul colleague Eduardo Leite in the primaries for the nomination from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). 

Mr. Doria tries to position himself as an alternative to the polarization between incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and polling frontrunner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who served as president between 2003 and 2010. Polls, however, show that Mr. Doria — or any would-be third-way candidate, for that matter — has failed to enthuse voters. The latest Datafolha opinion polls have the São Paulo governor with just 4 percent of voting intentions.

Monday’s announcement will be anything but a surprise. Ever since entering politics as São Paulo mayor in 2016, he has made his presidential ambitions clear. At the time, Mr. Doria was compared to former U.S. President Donald Trump, as he hosted the Brazilian version of The Apprentice. Soon after, the Trump comparisons shifted to Jair Bolsonaro, who is far more politically aligned with the former U.S. head of state.