By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Incumbent governor Luis Fernando de Souza, most commonly known as Pezão (‘Bigfoot’ in Portuguese), won the gubernatorial race in Rio de Janeiro against Marcelo Crivella. According to election officials, Pezão received 55.78 percent of the valid votes against Crivella’s 44.22 percent.
Numbers also show that a little over seventeen percent of Rio’s residents voted blank or annulled their votes and 22 percent of state voters did not go to the polling stations.
Pezão dedicated his victory to former governor, Sergio Cabral, who according to the newly elected official believed in him. “During the most difficult moments people doubted the choice he had made. I dedicate this victory to him.”
During Sunday night’s press conference Pezão thanked his supporters, the PMDB party and the eighteen other political parties which supported him both in the first round of elections as well as the second round, against Crivella. He also thanked newly elected senator, and soccer idol, Romario, for his support.
He noted during the press conference that although Cabral did not accomplish everything the population had expected of him, “his public policies became a reference to the country”. After long, violent protests against his administration in June and July of 2013, Governor Cabral stepped down on April 3rd, 2014 with many believing he would run for another public office. The former governor however has since disappeared from the public limelight, and did not actively campaign for his running mate during this year’s elections.