Two weeks from the transcendental midterms, Cambiemos celebrated an electoral victory yesterday after its candidate Gustavo Valdés won the Corrientes Province’s gubernatorial elections with 54.06 percent of the votes.
Valdés, who is not part of the PRO but the Radical party (UCR), beat Peronist candidate Carlos “Camau” Espínola, who got the support of 45.19 percent of the voters. That difference means Valdés will be able to take office without having to face the runner-up in a runoff.
The national administration is trying to capitalize the victory, as the midterms start to loom large. Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio and Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, arguably two of the most influential government officials, traveled to Corrientes to join Valdés at the time of announcing his victory.
“I ask you to keep this enthusiasm and energy for two more weeks because the President [Mauricio Macri] needs Corrientes’ deputies in the National Congress,” Frigerio told the crowd gathered at Valdés’s headquarters.
— Rogelio Frigerio (@frigeriorogelio) October 9, 2017
“Congratulations Gustavo Valdés, new governor of Corrientes. Together we will continue working to consolidate the change in the province,” reads the tweet.
This election wasn’t shocking nor Cambiemos pulled a massive upset, as representatives of the UCR have administered the province for 16 years now – and will continue doing so for at least four more. In fact, according to Clarín, the current governor Ricardo Colombi is considered by President Macri as one of the five governors – including Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta – he can count on no matter what. Valdés’ election, then, cements Cambiemos’ dominance in Corrientes.
Colombi confirmed this analysis in a radio interview today, saying that Valdés’ victory ratifies the people of Corrientes to “accompany” the “presence of the national government in the province since Macri is president.” “Corrientes was a province that had to endure discrimination during the Kirchner administration. With the change of government in 2015, we entered the national context,” he finished.