María Eugenia Vidal took control of Buenos Aires province in 2015 in a surprise win over the Peronist candidate.
Now, the Peronists are seeking to regain the country's most populous and politically important province against a woman whose popularity has seemingly survived the turbulence of national politics, where her ally President Mauricio Macri faces an uphill battle for re-election during October's presidential and general elections.
"La Cámpora will govern. It won't influence, it will govern", Vidal warned Sunday during an interview with , referring to the youth movement led by former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's son Máximo Kirchner.
Axel Kicillof, the Kirchnerite candidate for the governorship of Buenos Aires province, "is Máximo and the project is Máximo 2023", Vidal alleged. Kicillof was the last Economy minister to serve Fernández de Kirchner as president.
"That's why they've built this alliance, so La Cámpora can govern the province", Vidal added. They represent "the system that had governed the province for 28 years" prior to the Cambiemos (Let's Change) coalition's win in 2015.
With regards to Fernández de Kirchner, "it's not about the person, it's about the system which for 28 years failed to address basic things: they didn't give bullet-proof vests to Police, they didn't give cancer patients any answers, they took handcuffs away from prisons, and left 7,000 people sleeping on the floor", the charged. "The faces change but it's still the same thing".
On the topic of Sergio Massa, whose dissident Peronist party Renewal Front facilitated the passage of laws in the provincial legislature during Vidal's first time, the governor lamented his return to Fernández de Kirchner. Massa will run as the lead candidate for Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who, respectively, will run as presidential and vice-presidential candidate.
"I had a relationship of consensus with him. We passed laws together. It's hard to understand that someone would go back to the place he left due to deep differences in his system of values. It's something he'll have to explain to the people of Buenos Aires. I think voters will struggle to trust him again", the governor hadded.