Following the April 16 elections in Neuquén and Río Negro, three other provinces — Jujuy, La Rioja and Misiones — will be voting for their governors on Sunday. These three elections will mark the beginning of an electoral “Super May,” with five other provinces holding votes on May 14, meaning that a third of the country will define its political map this month.
As is the case for 15 other provinces, these three northern provinces opted to separate their provincial elections from the presidential vote. This allowed them to focus the discussion on issues within each province and dodge the potential negative impact of the presidential elections in October.
La Rioja will see the first and only governor seeking reelection in this election cycle and will be the first province where the ruling coalition Frente de Todos (FdT) risks losing power in the province amid political and economic tensions at the national level. Ricardo Quintela received support from Interior Minister Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro in the form of a visit — support that is amply returned.
Meanwhile, Jujuy will see the first intense election for the opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) as it seeks continuity in power. The province’s current governor and head of the Radical Civic Union (UCR) party, Gerardo Morales — who is not eligible for reelection -— is putting himself forward in the PASO to be the coalition’s presidential candidate. He is supporting his Finance Minister Carlos Sadir as his potential successor.
Morales is hoping for a landslide victory in the province so that it counts as an accolade for the UCR generally and his own candidacy in particular amid infighting within the Republican Proposal Party (PRO) to define JxC candidates across the country. Buenos Aires City Mayor and fellow JxC presidential hopeful Horacio Rodríguez Larreta visited the province this week and considers that an electoral win in Jujuy would be a boon for the national coalition.
The province of Misiones is heavily marked by local politics detached from national coalitions, which has meant constant visits from national politicians — in particular from JxC as the coalition seeks a foothold in the province’s electorate. Incumbent Governor Oscar Herrera Ahuad is also ineligible for reelection and is hoping for former governor Hugo Passalacqua —who held office from 2015 to 2019 — to take over from him in December.
The feverish electoral calendar in May continues on May 14 with another five provincial elections in La Pampa, Salta, San Juan, Tucumán y Tierra del Fuego. Four governors will seek reelection that Sunday — Sergio Ziliotto (La Pampa)m Sergio Uñac (San Juan), Gustavo Sáenz (Salta) and Gustavo Melella (Tierra del Fuego).