Renato Casagrande, the current governor of the Espírito Santo state, won reelection this Sunday with 53.8 percent of the votes. His opponent Carlos Manato fell behind with 46.2 percent. Mr. Casagrande was considered the favorite to win in the first round, but saw his opponent grow and force a runoff.
Espírito Santo is one of the states that repeated the national polarization between the current president Jair Bolsonaro and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. While Mr. Casagrande is a public supporter of the Workers’ Party candidate, Mr. Manato declared support for Mr Bolsonaro.
At first, the re-elected governor resisted links with Lula, criticizing the candidate’s party and approaching former judge Sergio Moro, then affiliated with the Podemos party. In the end, however, the Workers’ Party and the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) signed an alliance.
The campaign for the second round was marred by personal attacks and exchanges of accusations between the candidates during televised debates.
On the one hand, Mr. Casagrande confronted Mr. Manato about the alleged participation of the politician in the Scuderie Le Cocq, one of the largest extermination groups in the history of Espírito Santo. On the other hand, Mr. Manato insinuated his opponent’s participation in a corruption scheme involving construction company Odebrecht.
Another subject that has emerged with more intensity in the last month was the current state government management regarding the pandemic, considered by Mr. Manato as a “farce.” Mr. Casagrande defended his actions and said he made responsible decisions.
The Federal Police strike in 2017, considered the biggest public security crisis in the history of Espírito Santo, was also a subject addressed more than once by the candidates. Both exchanged accusations that the other candidate supported the movement, deemed unconstitutional.