A day away from the deadline for political parties to announce their candidates for the midterm elections — whether they hold primaries or not — and the details of each party’s final ballot are starting to come into focus.
Press outlets revealed that Cambiemos finally decided that Education Minister Esteban Bullrich will lead the senator ticket in the Buenos Aires Province, arguably the midterms’ most significant election. The announcement will be made tomorrow by provincial governor María Eugenia Vidal, who will take an active role during the campaign to seize the fact that she is the politician with the best positive image in the country, and thus attract votes to the party’s candidates.
Bullrich will appear on the ticket alongside either Gladys González, head of the entity in charge of cleaning the emblematic, highly polluted Riachuelo river, or Graciela Ocaña, former Health Minister and current legislator in the Buenos Aires City. Current Minister of Education and Culture in the Buenos Aires Province Alejandro Finocchiaro has reportedly been selected to take over the Ministry Bullrich will leave.
Cambiemos’ deputy ticket is still not entirely clear, but well-known neurologist Facundo Manes, Hector “Toty” Flores, Ocaña as well, and Ambassador to Uruguay Guillermo Montenegro are some of the possibilities.
On the other side of the political spectrum, former Interior and Transportation Minister under the Fernández de Kirchner, Florencio Randazzo, is still taking in the blow of not being able to compete in a primary against his former boss to be the flag-bearer of the more intransigent opposition to Macri, is facing an unexpected situation: he’s watching how the party he was set to represent without opposition is being filled by potential candidates ready to take advantage of the power vacuum left by the departure of the former president from the Justicialist Party (PJ), and will have to compete with at least two rivals to head the party’s senator list.
The first one to defy the former minister was the quasi-eternal Mayor of the Jose C. Paz district, Mario Ishii. An old school Peronist, Ishii, who has administered the district since 1999 with a brief two-year interruption between 2013 and 2015, has already launched his candidacy. Former Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno has also got into the fight for the PJ. He will compete for a place in Congress for the Buenos Aires City, but is set to launch his own electoral front within the party and present his own candidates to compete in the provincial primaries.
Finally, controversial Provincial Deputy Jose Ottavis announced his intent to head his own list of candidates for deputies. However, he said that he won’t present potential senators, probably to stay on good terms with the former president.
Even though this last case won’t affect Randazzo in the polls themselves, it will have an effect on another important component: the State funds destined to finance the parties’ campaigns — all parties receive a certain amount of money from the State with this purpose — are distributed among the candidates, meaning that Randazzo will have to get the money he needs to fund his political proselytism somewhere else. All the remaining questions will be answered tomorrow.