National Senator Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Torres has been elected as the next governor of Chubut Province, with Radical leader Gustavo Menna as his deputy. The result means that the opposition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) coalition has delivered a electoral upset, breaking two decades of Peronist rule in the Patagonian province.
Torres’ candidacy did not create a rift in the opposition, since he was supported by both presidential hopefuls, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Patricia Bullrich. Former president Mauricio Macri also showed his support, as did Jujuy Province Governor and vice-presidential hopeful, Gerardo Morales, among others.
In addition to this, Torres also managed to expand the opposition front in Chubut, by adding community sectors and Peronist voters.
Torres, 35 years old, was born in Trelew (Chubut) on May 4, 1988 and comes from a family of investors linked to transport, distribution and sale of fuel in different petrol stations. He is a Business Administration graduate from the Argentine Business University (UADE).
‘Nacho’ was the founder of Mauricio Macri’s new opposition grouping in the oil-producing province over 10 years ago. Back in 2015 Torres was part of the Fundación Pensar, the PRO’s main think tank, serving as its leader in Chubut until 2020.
From 2015 to 2017, he headed the PAMI pensioners' health insurance delegation in his province. After his time in the government agency, he was appointed by Interior minister Rogelio Frigerio to coordinate the Patagonian Development Table.
His first electoral experience came in 2019, when he was elected national deputy for his province. In the 2021 legislative elections he reached the Senate after winning with an advantage of nearly ten points above his rivals.
In the Upper House he put together his own bloc, Cambio Federal, alongside Edith Terenzi, Neuquén’s Lucila Crexell and Salta’s Juan Carlos Romero.
In the run-up to the elections on Sunday, the Senator created an alliance in Chubut between the Radicals and Propuesta Republicana with adherence by municipal parties proposing to “turn the page after 20 years of governments which bankrupted the provinces”.
“Despierta Chubut” (“Chubut is waking up”) was the slogan of his campaign, pointing to the chance of a reality the candidate considers started in the province since the time Mario Das Neves took over as governor in December 2003. “Mario Das Neves, Martín Buzzi and now Mariano Arcioni are the same, they have the same officials rotating and clearly Juan Pablo Luque (his main Peronist rival) would continue with that” he assured while talking to the Télam state news agency.
During his campaign, Torres promised to “stress budget implementation” to put numbers in order, for which he has calculated that “eliminating superfluous expenses generated by political leaders themselves we will obtain resources, for instance, to repair schools that are falling apart due to lack of investment”.
He added that “in view of that, we have signed a commitment with the future deputy Governor (referring to his running mate Gustavo Menna) and the future deputies to create a fund allocating all of those superfluous expenses to education, which will also be an example of austerity the citizenry so badly needs.”