Since the beginning of the Jair Bolsonaro administration, there has been a gulf between the president and his number two, Vice President Hamilton Mourão. On numerous occasions, Mr. Bolsonaro hinted he was on the lookout for a new running mate for when the time comes to run for re-election.
And on Wednesday, that became official: Mr. Mourão joined the Republicans party and announced he will run for a Senate seat representing his home state of Rio Grande do Sul. The VP was considering a run for the Rio de Janeiro governor’s office, but a Senate seat in one of the most conservative Brazilian states might be a safer electoral bet.
In 2022, the Senate will renew one-third of its 81 seats (three per state) — with each state electing one person to the upper house.During an event to announce his next move, the vice president pledged loyalty to Mr. Bolsonaro and added that Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto would be a great vice-presidential nominee. Mr. Braga Netto is Jair Bolsonaro’s preferred choice, but he will have to negotiate the VP slot with his congressional allies.