Absences and presidents mark kickoff of debate season in Brazil

Gubernatorial candidates in ten states held debates on Sunday evening, though there were some high-profile absences. Besides regional issues, contenders focused on the Lula-Bolsonaro divide

debate Candidates for the São Paulo governor's office. Photo: Renato Pizzutto/Band
Candidates for the São Paulo governor’s office. Photo: Renato Pizzutto/Band

Debate season began in Brazil on Sunday night, with gubernatorial candidates facing off on live TV in ten states.

TV station Band, which traditionally hosts the first debates of the election cycle, organized events in the states of Amazonas, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Paraíba, Paraná, the Federal District, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, and São Paulo.

In four states, one of the leading candidates in the polls chose not to show up. 

Antônio Carlos Magalhães Neto — a.k.a. ACM Neto, the former mayor of Salvador and member of the powerful Magalhães clan — had...

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