São Paulo’s mayor: a marketing expert with a laundry list of faux pas?

São Paulo’s Mayor João Doria
São Paulo’s Mayor João Doria. Photo: Heloísa Ballarini/Secom

Last year, João Doria emerged as an electoral phenomenon. With no electoral experience whatsoever, the former TV show host was considered the dark horse of a mayoral race featuring the sitting mayor, one of his predecessors, and a congressman connected to evangelical groups. Still, Doria did the impossible, beating them all in the first round. Thanks to a campaign that presented him as an efficient technocrat, he became the only candidate in the city’s history to win without requiring a runoff stage.

Young, dynamic, and uber-connected to social media, Doria seemed to be the perfect candidate. Even before he took...

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