All eyes tomorrow will be on the five presidential candidates vying to head the nation for the next four years but there will be a whole lot of voting at other levels, national, provincial and local.
No less than 18 of the 23 provinces have already voted earlier this year with Corrientes and Santiago del Estero not renewing their governors until 2025 but the few remaining contests are far from minor – almost half the national electorate (or 48.39 percent, to be exact) between Buenos Aires City and Province, Catamarca and Entre Ríos. Or 17,136,775 of the 35,294,425 voters registered in the PASO primary electoral rolls last August.
Between 130 deputies and 24 senators, Congress will be renewing 154 of the 329 seats in both houses. Listing the hundreds of candidates disputing these seats would both defy this newspaper’s space limits and strain the attention span of most readers so we will leave Congress there for now, apart from listing the eight provinces renewing their three senators (well within the bounds of this preview) – Buenos Aires, Formosa, Jujuy, La Rioja, Misiones, San Juan, San Luis and Santa Cruz.
Buenos Aires Province heads that list alphabetically and in every other sense as well – not only does it have by far the most voters (well over 13 million) but it will be the only district voting at every possible level, for president, governor, senators, deputies, mayors, everything. Furthermore, the result of the gubernatorial bout in BA Province is regarded as almost as crucial for the future as the main presidential contest for reasons which might be inappropriate to explain during the veda electoral curfew but are pretty common knowledge anyway.
Just four gubernatorial candidates both cleared the 1.5 percent threshold in the PASO primary and finished top within their parties to be in contention tomorrow – Peronist Governor Axel Kicillof (Unión por la Patria) seeking re-election, outgoing Lanús Mayor Néstor Grindetti (Juntos por el Cambio), libertarian Carolina Píparo (La Libertad Avanza) and leftist railway trade unionist Rubén 'Pollo' Sobrero (Frente de Izquierda y de Trabajadores-Unidad).
The same four forces will also be disputing the three Senate seats. Unión por la Patria will field outgoing Interior Minister Eduardo ‘Wado’ de Pedro and Senator Juliana Di Tullio, the current Unidad Ciudadana caucus chief whose seat could be at risk. Radical Maximiliano Abad and lawyer María Eugenia Talerico will be their Juntos por el Cambio rivals while the libertarian candidates will be businessman Juan Nápoli and Gladys Humenuk of Corporación América with the left nominating Graciela Calderón and Darío Hermosilla.
Space does not permit the candidates for BA Province’s 35 lower house seats to be named beyond those topping the lists for the three main contenders (Máximo Kirchner for the government, Cristian Ritondo for Juntos and libertarian Alberto Benegas Lynch) and far less the hundreds of mayoral candidates bidding to run the 135 districts.
The mayoral candidates for this city can and should be named, however, again a quartet – in order of PASO primary voting, they are Jorge Macri for Juntos por el Cambio, Leandro Santoro for Unión por la Patria, Ramiro Marra for La Libertad Avanza and Vanina Biasi for Frente de Izquierda y de Trabajadores-Unidad, all participants in the September 27 mayoral debate. In the same order, the leading candidates for the 12 national Congress seats are ballet dancer Maximiliano Guerra, La Cámpora’s Paula Penacca, economist Diana Mondino and Patricio del Corro.
Two inland provinces will also be electing governors tomorrow – Entre Ríos (one of only eight provinces with a seven-digit electorate) and Catamarca, both won by Frente de Todos in 2019.
In Entre Ríos Adán Bahl will be attempting to keep it that way but faces a strong challenge from PASO primary winner Rogelio Frigerio of Juntos por el Cambio, a former Interior minister. La Libertad Avanza will be represented by Arturo Etchevehere, member of a prominent local ranching family.
In Catamarca the re-election of Peronist Governor Raúl Jalil will be opposed by his own cousin José Jalil Colome running for La Libertad Avanza while Radical Senator Flavio Fama represents Juntos por el Cambio.
All of which is just the tip of the iceberg for the thousands of candidates at all levels facing the voters tomorrow.