Peronist Daniel Passerini was elected mayor of Córdoba city after beating Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) candidate Rodrigo de Loredo on Sunday, a surprising turn of events as most polls had De Loredo as the winner in the days leading up to the elections.
Passerini, incumbent vice mayor of Córdoba city and member of the peronist coalition Hacemos Unidos por Córdoba led by governor Juan Schiaretti, got 47.67% of the votes, against De Loredo’s 40%. Schiaretti will be running for president in the primary national elections.
“I want to thank you for the honor and the responsibility that this victory in Córdoba city means for me. This means the people of Córdoba chose us, and want the city to keep moving forward,” Passerini said during the celebrations.
He also thanked JxC for recognizing the loss at 9:20 p.m., before the results had even been announced by the city’s electoral board.
Although Schiaretti will end his second consecutive term as governor at the end of the year, his coalition remains strong in the province. Martín Llaryora, his former vice governor and current Córdoba city mayor, won the governor elections on June 25.
This way, “schiarettism” beat JxC in both the provincial and city elections, a salient fact given that Córdoba is considered a strong supporter of the opposition coalition. In 2015, although Schiaretti was elected governor, 71.52% — an unusually high number — of the province voted for former president Mauricio Macri.
De Loredo accepted his defeat and recognized he was surprised, given that most polls said he would win. “This time, the polls results were upside down. The numbers we had said something else,” he said.
Sergio Massa, Economy minister and presidential candidate of the national ruling Unión por la Patria (UxP), also commented that polls said De Loredo was going to win by 14 points over Passerini.
Even though Schiaretti’s coalition is not a part of the also peronist UxP, Massa congratulated Passerini profusely. “The election was won through activism. It’s a message that many of our own have to listen to: you can win an election, beyond what polls and media outlets say, if you go house by house looking to talk to the neighbors,” Massa said.
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A win at the provincial level
Schiaretti’s coalition pride itself in being a fully provincial political space, so there were no national politicians in their campaign headquarters to celebrate their victory.
Meanwhile, JxC’s presidential candidates Patricia Bullrich and Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, along with respective VP candidates Luis Petri and Gerardo Morales, as well as Buenos Aires city mayor candidate Martín Lousteau, were also at the coalition’s headquarters. None of them gave a speech to support De Loredo.
“I made you come here for nothing,” De Loredo told them.
“We are more cordobeses than ever,” governor elect Llaryora said, distancing himself from the JxC candidate. “Let’s put a stop to being mistreated by outsiders, to pituquitos from Recoleta explaining us what to do and how,” he added.
Llaryora used the word pituquito, a diminutive form of a term used to reference fancy people, and mentioned Recoleta, one of Buenos Aires city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, as a way of disparaging his opponent, given that he was accompanied by JxC’s top brass.
Voter turnout in the city reached its lowest point since 1983, when democracy was reestablished after the last military government. Only 60% of electors voted for mayor in the city. The number was even lower than it had been in the governor elections (68%).
Voter turnout in Córdoba province is usually over 70% for national elections.