Santa Fe province returned to Peronist control on Sunday in an election that put an end to 12 years of Progressive rule in the province, Argentina's third-largest by population.
Sunday polling was damaging for the Mauricio Macri government on a number of fronts: not only did the ever-unified Peronist movement retake Santa Fe, but all of Cambiemos (Let's Change) coalition candidates or allies polled poorly.
Senator and governor-elect of Santa Fe province, Omar Perotti, secured 40.52 of the vote against Socialist candidate Antonio Bonfatti on 36.34 percent. Bonfatti had polled highest in a primaries race last month but faced no internal competition. Perotti competed for the Peronist candidacy against María Eugenia Bielsa, whose votes this Sunday surely helped him secure the win. Cambiemos candidate José Corral secured just 19 percent of the votes.
Key to Perotti's win were votes in Rosario, where the Progressive coalition has ruled for over 30 years. There, Perotti surprassed his final overall vote count, securing 41.3 percent against a meagre 35 percent for Bonfatti.
Making matters worse for the Progressives, Mayor Mónica Fein lost control of the City to Marcelo Lewandowki for the Peronists. Breaking a negative trend for the Progressives, their Socialist candidate Emilio Jatón snatched Santa Fe City from the Radical party, which had ruled the city for 12 years.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO
There was even more surprise in Tierra del Fuego where Governor Rosana Bertone lost to Río Grande Mayor Gustavo Melella. Following allegations of ballot theft, Bertone was knocked out of the race in the first round, securing just 38.9 percent of the vore against Melella's 49.3 percent.
San Luis province, as has long been the case, was a family affair. Brothers and former allies Alberto and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá faced off for control of the province. It was Alberto who retained his position as governor over his competition, taking 42.15 of the vote.
In Formosa province, incumbent Gildo Isfrán returns to power for a seventh consequtive term as Argentina's longest serving governor securing 70.82 percent of the vote against Cambiemos candidate Adrián Bogado's 28.71 percent.
Isfrán's highly questioned style of governorship and his willingness to align himself with any and all types of national governments will likely continue.
The Macri government has won two elections in the current electoral cycle of the 20 up for grabs: Jujuy, which was retained by Governor Gerardo Morales; and the primaries race in Mendoza province.