All of the participating political parties have officially thrown their hats into the ring for the upcoming next midterm election, a vote that will have a massive impact on the second half of the Macri administration. Because of this, all eyes are on the Buenos Aires Province, arguably the big price to take in October.
We already know who the main players will be in the run for the Senate: former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will lead her newly-formed Citizens’ United Front party to compete against Cambiemos’ Education Minister, Esteban Bullrich. The coalition formed by deputies Sergio Massa and Margarita Stolbizer will try to upset the political status quo, while former Interior and Transportation Minister during the Cristina Kirchner administration, Florencio Randazzo, has the titanic task of beating his former boss to position himself as the leader of the Peronist party.
However, bar a few exceptions, the most important parties decided to bet on relatively unknown faces at the time of picking the other candidates, especially for their deputies’ ballots.
From a social leader in Cambiemos, to the mayor of a small city in the province, to former head of The National Scientific and Technical Research Council Conicet during the Kirchner administration. Here’s a brief bio of the lesser known candidates in the Province who actually have a shot at becoming members of Congress later this year.
Graciela Ocaña: a four-term national deputy, Ocaña has been all over the political map. She was the Health Minister during the first two years of the first Cristina Kirchner administration. In 2010, she accused then Buenos Aires City Mayor, and now President, Mauricio Macri of corruption, and in 2015’s Mayoral Elections she competed in a primary against Martín Lousteau, who today is at odds with the government. She’d campaigned to become the country’s Ombudsman (woman) but failed. She’ll now lead Cambiemos’ ticket in the province.
Héctor “toty” Flores: is a politician and social leader. He was a national deputy between 2007 and 2011, representing the Civic Coalition, led by Carrió. His figure became more identifiable in 2015 when he ran as Carrió’s Vice President in the presidential elections’ primaries, which his ticket lost against Macri and Gabriela Michetti’s.
Guillermo Montenegro: a former federal judge, Montenegro started his political career in 2007 when he was tapped by then Mayor-elect of Buenos Aires City Mauricio Macri to become Minister of Justice and Security. He was embroiled in controversy at the beginning of his term for appointing as local Police Chief a former Commissioner of the Federal Police who had been removed from his post in 2004. He left his post in December 2015 when Macri was elected president and appointed as Ambassador to Uruguay.
Citizens’ United Front
Fernanda Vallejos: she’s a UBA economy graduate, a professor, and a researcher. She worked in the Economy Ministry during Axel Kiciloff’s tenure and has been making the headlines today after saying in a radio interview that “corruption during the Kirchner administration was invented by the media.”
Roberto Salvarezza: A scientist specializing in biochemistry, he was the head of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council Conicet from 2012 to 2015. He resigned from his post a day before Macri took office because “the scientific policies were not guaranteed” with the new administration.
Fernando Espinoza: He was the Mayor of the province’s most populated district, La Matanza, for 10 years. He requested a leave of absence from his post as PJ President to join the former president’s ticket.
Perhaps slightly unexpected was the treatment received by former FpV presidential candidate in 2015, Daniel Scioli. He was given the 5th place on the list and has very few chances of becoming a deputy.
Justicialist Party (PJ)
Eduardo Bucca: he’s the mayor of the Bolívar district. He was one of the few politicians who remained loyal to Randazzo when most district mayors left him to join the former president’s party.
Juan Manuel Abal Medina: a Current FpV Senator, he is nonetheless one of the most critical voices within the Peronist party. He was the Chief of Staff during the first Cristina Kirchner administration, and became a senator in 2014 when he was called to replace Aníbal Fernández, tapped to be Cabinet Chief himself.
Felipe Solá: he was Governor of the Buenos Aires Province between 2003 and 2007. He was elected national deputy that year but broke from the FpV a year later. He ran for governor again in 2015, but came in third After now governor María Eugenia Vidal and Aníbal Fernández.
Mirta Tundis: a journalist and expert on social security issues, she is currently a deputy for Sergio Massa’s party and seeks to renew his seat.