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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Over 4.8 million residents of Rio de Janeiro are expected to choose between eleven candidates who will be their next mayor. As the October 2nd election day nears five candidates are technically tied for second place with analysts not venturing to guess who will participate in an October 30th run-off election.

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro,Marcelo Crivella is currently leading the mayoral race in Rio de Janeiro and will  run against one of five candidates in tied for second place,

Marcelo Crivella is currently leading the mayoral race in Rio de Janeiro and will run against one of five candidates in tied for second place, photo by Antonio Cruz/Agencia Brasil.

According to the latest Datafolha survey, evangelical bishop, Marcelo Crivella, of the PRB (Brazilian Republican Party) is well ahead of the rest of the mayoral candidates, with 27 percent of the intended votes. Crivella who was a Senator from 2003 to 2010 promises to invest in education and health.

The former Senator has as one of his most famous backers former soccer giant, Romario, who last weekend participated in one of Crivella’s rallies.

“Rio, like Brazil, is experiencing a very difficult, complex, and complicated time. We have done great things, but the population was put in second place. It’s time to change that,” said Romario during the rally.

Tied for second place, according to the survey, are human rights advocate Marcelo Freixo of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), Pedro Paulo Carvalho Teixeira of the Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) and out-going mayor Eduardo Paes’ choice for his successor, women’s rights activist Jandira Feghali of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCdoB), ultra-conservative Flávio Bolsonaro of the Social Christian Party (PSC) and former city transport secretary Carlos Osorio from the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB).

The six candidates with the highest voter intention rates, ironically, are also the ones with the highest rejection rates in this year’s municipal race. Teixeira, Feghali, Crivella and Bolsonaro have appeared in surveys with over 20 percent rejection rates from Rio voters.

According to analysts, the October 30th run-off election between Crivella and one of the five candidates tied for second place promises to be anything but calm and predictable.

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