By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For governor candidates in thirteen states and the Federal District (Brasília), there will be more campaigning in the next twenty days leading up to second round elections (October 28th). The elections yesterday (October 7th) produced some unexpected results, and in some cases little known names have taken the lead.

Rocinha residents found long lines to vote yesterday, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Rocinha residents found long lines to vote yesterday (October 7th), photo by Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil.

In Rio de Janeiro, PSC candidate Wilson Witzel will face former mayor Eduardo Paes (MDB) and removed senator and former football (soccer) player Romário (Podemos) from the second round. With 99.36 percent of the polls tallied, Witzel totaled 41.26 percent of the valid votes and Paes, only 19.56 percent.

Federal Judge Wilson Witzel is considered a surprise in the election because he came in 6th place in the polls, but after the television debate earlier in the week, he began to rise in the polls, focusing his campaign on fighting corruption and crime.

“The debates were fundamental and the discussion that demonstrated who is more suited to be governor [of the State]. I’m very happy to have gotten here and I’m sure we will gain our victory in this second round,” Witzel said.

Eduardo Paes was elected mayor of Rio de Janeiro in 2008, and was reelected in 2012 in the first round. A steady figure in the propulsion of Rio de Janeiro through the World Cup and Olympics, many considered him a favorite in the race.

At a press conference last night, Paes spoke about his gap of votes for first place. “The voter’s decision is not such rational mathematics.”

In Minas Gerais, Novo’s candidate, Romeo Zema, won first place, overthrowing the governor, the petista (PT) Fernando Pimentel, who failed to reach the second round. Zema is now the favorite in the race against Antonio Anastasia (PSDB).

In the Federal District, there was a surprise: MDB’s Ibaneis, who did not appear in the polls, went to first position, but the current governor, Rodrigo Rollemberg (PSB), who appeared in third, was able to move to the second round.

According to the Agencia Brasil tally, the political parties have been shaken up in Brazil. The PT and PSB elected three governors each, the DEM won two governor sports, and MDB, PP, PSD, PHS, PC do B all won only a single governor seat.

Though the 2018 elections are not over yet, the party framework may still change, considering that there are alliances and agreements negotiated for the second round and future governments.

Governors from thirteen states were victorious in the first round: Acre, Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Paraná and Tocantins.


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