Skip to content

Tarcisio de Freitas is elected governor of São Paulo

The richest state in the country, São Paulo elected by former Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Freitas as its new governor. Hailing from the Republican party, he won 55.3 percent of the vote.

Fernando Haddad, the candidate supported by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who won the presidential election, came in second, more than 10 points back.

São Paulo is traditionally aligned with conservatism and has rarely elected progressive politicians to important positions. Voters in the state are also known for their high rejection of Lula’s Workers’ Party. The current governor of São Paulo, Rodrigo Garcia, and former mayor Gilberto Kassab supported Mr. Freitas.

Mr. Freitas’s win ended almost 30 years of uninterrupted administrations by the center-right Brazilian Social Democracy Party in the state. He served in other governments, but rose to prominence during Mr. Bolsonaro’s term, when he was elevated to something of an infrastructure guru.

Despite being born in Rio de Janeiro and knowing little about São Paulo, Mr. Freitas benefited from the enthusiastic support of President Jair Bolsonaro. Even after the loss in the national election, the victory in São Paulo will be essential to keep the strength of Bolsonarism alive for the coming years, with the dominance of the richest and most populous state in the country.

The success of Mr. Freitas takes place in the midst of an investigation into an as-yet-unexplained episode that took place during his campaign. Earlier this month, an event with the presence of the then-candidate was interrupted by an alleged shooting that left one man dead.

Recent information released by multiple media outlets shows that a security guard from the campaign shot the man, who was unarmed. A cameraman present was reportedly told by the Freitas campaign to delete footage of the incident.

Mr. Freitas propagates the image of being a technician that does not embrace all of Mr. Bolsonaro’s agenda, such as casting doubt on electronic voting machines. However, it adheres to some Bolsonarist platforms, such as the tightening of public security. He has already said, for example, that he wants to review the obligation for police to wear body cameras — a measure that has helped reduce police lethality by more than 70 percent.

He also said he would release the mandatory vaccination of children and public servants and work to reduce the age of criminal responsibility. Currently, only people over the age of 18 can be detained in the conventional prison system.

He backtracked on some of the statements, but not emphatically. In power, it is uncertain which political path the new governor will take.”

I want to use the creative capacity of the people of São Paulo to re-industrialize the state and to reduce the colossal inequalities. I think that if we have the axis of re-industrializing the state, economic development, and, at the same time, social justice, we are going to have a better and better state,” said Mr. Freitas after his victory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *