State races will help shape the national election
Keep an eye on Brazil’s state races

State races will help shape the national election

Brazil’s 2018 presidential election is five months away, but it has certainly attracted attention. There is, of course, no shortage of storylines – from the front-runner who is in jail to the extreme-right-winger who leads all polls. This year’s race occurs during a crucial moment for Brazil, with the country struggling to recover from the recession and facing deep social divides.

But under the radar, the political forces within each state are operating at full-throttle. Don’t be fooled – these races will help define the presidential election. In a country as vast as Brazil, having a strong local ally is crucial for grassroots politics. While social media will play a big part in shaping voters’ preferences, they alone won’t do the trick.

The Brazilian Report has analyzed the races in the country’s more critical states from electoral, social, and economic standpoints.

</p> <h3>São Paulo</h3> <p>Brazil’s richest state concentrates 32.4 percent of the country’s GDP and accounts for 33 million voters – that is, 22 percent of the people who will head to the polls. The state has been dominated by center-right PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) for the past 24 years, when the party began a six-election winning streak.</p> <p>Former Governor Geraldo Alckmin left office in April in order to run for president. Oddly enough, he might support <em>two</em> candidates in the race: his fellow PSDB member (and former protégé) João Doria and the acting governor, Marcio França, from the center-left Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB). <a href="https://brazilian.report/2017/12/12/psdb-brazil-2018-election/">Struggling in the polls</a>, Alckmin is trying to lure PSB into his coalition. And França may be a key piece in that complicated puzzle.</p> <p>But the race has a third competitive candidate in Paulo Skaf, the chair of <a href="https://brazilian.report/2017/12/07/brazilian-odd-liberalism/">São Paulo’s Industry Federation</a> (Fiesp). This will be Skaf’s third bid for the governor’s office. In 2010, Skaf won a mere 4.5 percent of the votes, but came in second four years later, surpassing the 21 percent mark.</p> <p><strong>Noteworthy:</strong> The Workers’ Party has launched former union leader Luiz Marinho – who has yet to appear as a viable candidate.</p> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="cb062604-8b5a-4d1e-8a6e-7050a497bb0e" data-type="interactive"></div><script>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");</script> <h3>Minas Gerais</h3> <p>Sitting Governor Fernando Pimentel (Workers’ Party) will run for reelection, but faces an impeachment process. He is accused of infringing upon budgetary laws. The case, however, has no timetable to proceed.</p> <p>The political chess in the state of Minas Gerais has been rocked by former President Dilma Rousseff’s decision to run for a Senate position. She would curb the changes of an election by the candidate representing MDB (Michel Temer’s party), Pimentel’s main ally. The impeachment process was, in fact, a retaliation against Pimentel for Rousseff’s decision to enter the game.</p> <p>Pimentel’s main opponent is Senator Antonio Anastasia, who has already served as lieutenant governor. Anastasia briefly served as acting governor in 2014, and left office with a 49 percent approval rating before cruising to the Senate. But he has an Achilles heel: Anastasia is associated with Senator Aécio Neves, who has been at the center of multiple corruption scandals.</p> <p>Marcio Lacerda, the former mayor of state capital Belo Horizonte, is also in the race. He was elected as mayor in 2008 thanks to an unlikely coalition between the Workers’ Party and PSDB.</p> <p><strong>Noteworthy: </strong>The second-most populated state in Brazil, Minas Gerais is pivotal for the national race. In past elections, no candidate has won the general election after losing in Minas Gerais.</p> <h3>Rio de Janeiro</h3> <p>Under federal intervention, Rio de Janeiro will choose another governor in a climate of extreme tension. Right now, the race is led by former football player Romário – Brazil’s main striker during the 1994 World Cup and current senator.</p> <p>His main opponent is Rio’s former Mayor Eduardo Paes, who has joined the right-wing Democrats party (DEM). Paes’ name, however, might not be on the ballot. He has been convicted in the Electoral Justice Court and, unless he wins an unlikely appeal at the Superior Electoral Court, will be ineligible for office for eight years.</p> <p><strong>Noteworthy:</strong> Anthony Garotinho, a populist and former governor of Rio de Janeiro, remains a strong name in the race – despite having been recently convicted and arrested for corruption. He is connected to evangelical sectors, and will run for the religious right-wing party PRP.</p> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="c83b9acb-5863-42c1-8549-a7b6ef286599" data-type="interactive"></div><script>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");</script> <h3>Rio Grande do Sul</h3> <p>Sitting Governor Ivo Sartori (MDB) enjoys a paltry 5.5 percent approval rating and has a rocky path towards reelection. Right now, the race is led by 31-year-old Eduardo Leite (PSDB), the former mayor of Pelotas, a city in the state’s countryside. Leite presents himself as an outsider and has a pro-market agenda, and supports the privatization of public services.</p> <p><strong>Noteworthy:</strong> Both the Democratic Labor Party (PDT) and the Workers’ Party , which have previously won gubernatorial races, have lost their political capital in Rio Grande do Sul. However, these parties’ candidates are polling at third and fourth place, respectively.</p> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="857cebc1-5f55-4233-b56f-525bfc457682" data-type="interactive"></div><script>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");</script> <h3>Bahia</h3> <p>Sitting governor Rui Costa (Workers’ Party) runs for reelection. In September 2017, he enjoyed an 86 percent approval rating, and has the support of his predecessor, Jaques Wagner, one of the state’s most respected political leaders.</p> <p>Also in Costa’s favor is the fact that Antonio Carlos Magalhães Neto, the sitting mayor of Salvador, has decided not to run for the governorship. The remaining competition doesn’t seem very competitive at this time, although there are currently no representative polls for the state’s run.</p> <p><strong>Noteworthy:</strong> Bahia is a key-player in Brazilian elections. It is the most populated state of the Northeast and the fourth most populous in the country, with 10 million voters.</p> <h3>Pernambuco</h3> <p>Two branches of the same traditional family are fighting for the governorship in Pernambuco. Governor Paulo Câmara (PSB) is running for reelection, having the support of the Campos family – the heirs of former Governor Eduardo Campos, a beloved politician in his home state who passed away in the early stages of the 2014 presidential race during an airplane crash.</p> <p>On the other side is Marilia Arraes, Eduardo Campos’ cousin. Like Campos, she is a grandchild of Miguel Arraes, an iconic politician in Pernambuco, who resisted the military dictatorship and won the gubernatorial race on three occasions.</p> <p>Senator Armando Monteiro is also in the race. During the Dilma Rousseff administration, Monteiro served as Minister of Industry. In 2014, he was the runner-up in the gubernatorial election.</p> <p>Câmara, Arraes, and Monteiro are technically tied. In fourth place comes Congressman and former Minister of Education Mendonça Filho.</p> <p><strong>Noteworthy:</strong> Mendonça Filho could opt to try for a seat in the Senate if his poll numbers don’t improve.</p> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="a921e759-88c8-4742-8840-ed0e6105f172" data-type="interactive"></div><script>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");</script> <p>

Read the full story NOW!

PowerMay 17, 2018

Tags: - -

BY Maria Martha Bruno

Maria Martha is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has already collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others. She has also worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.