Antagonists in national politics until the election of Jair Bolsonaro (without party) in 2018, the PT it’s the PSDB still polarize elections in the main cities of the Big Sao Paulo. The so-called “red belt” imploded in 2016 in the first test of the ballot box after the impeachment of the president Dilma Rousseff (PT).
That year, the PT had 9 prefectures in the 39 municipalities in the region, but only one: Franco da Rocha. In addition to São Paulo, where the mayor Fernando Haddad lost to João Doria (PSDB), PT members were defeated in Saint André, São Bernardo do Campo e Maua, in the ABC region, in addition to Guarulhos e Osasco.
In the opposite direction, the PSDB obtained the biggest victory in the region in what it called the “blue wave”, which it tries to repeat in 2020, despite the wear of the acronym in recent years. The main stage of the dispute between PT and toucans is São Bernardo do Campos, birthplace of the PT and base of the ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Candidate for reelection, the mayor of São Bernardo do Campo, Orlando Living (PSDB), which is part of the national executive from Tucana, received the second largest transfer of the PSDB Electoral Fund in the State – R $ 750 thousand. This amount is only less than the investment in the campaign for the re-election of Bruno Covas, who has already received R $ 5 million and will receive an additional R $ 3 million.
As in other cities in the Greater ABC, antipetism is the hallmark of the toucans’ discourse. “Society is very afraid that the PT will rule the city again. If they win, São Bernardo runs the risk of becoming a shelter for petistas without a position: you can imagine Dilma Rousseff in the Housing Secretariat, José Dirceu in the Government Office and Antonio Palocci in Finance, ”said Morando.
One of the showcases of his administration is the Culture Factory that was built where the Museum of Labor and Workers, better known as Museum of Lula would be. In research in the city (and registered with the TSE) Morando appears in 1st place ahead of the ex-mayor Luiz Marinho, who is state leader of PT.
“My opponent is a disqualified one. He saying that I will bring Palocci is as absurd as I say that he will bring Aécio (Snow) or Paulo Preto. He doesn’t want to discuss the city, the disaster that was his administration. In 2016 he surfed the wave of hatred for the PT but now he doesn’t have that sea to swim ”, replied Marinho, who only received R $ 165 thousand from the Electoral Fund until now.
The ex-mayor used against the toucans to close the Ford factory in the city. “They acted as realtors, they offered the area and at no time did they really care about keeping Ford.” According to Morando, investors confirmed the purchase of the Ford property. “Four big companies go to the site.”
After being swept away in the 2016 elections, the PT estimates that it has a good chance of winning the elections in several important cities in Greater São Paulo such as Guarulhos, Diadema, São Bernardo, Mauá, Osasco and Carapicuíba. The estimate of Marinho, who is also the party’s state president, is that the PT elects about 30 mayors in the state. In 2016 there were seven.
“It will not be the fabulous result of 2012 nor the disaster of 2016,” he said. According to the candidate and PT leader, polarization is natural in cities today governed by the PSDB such as São Bernardo and Santo André.
In Santo André, Carlos Grana (PT) lost to Paulo Serra (PSDB) in 2016. Candidate for reelection, Serra is watching a dispute on the left for a place in the second round. Brother of former PT mayor Celso Daniel, murdered in 2002, Bruno Daniel entered the dispute for PSOL and has as his opponent Beth Siraque (PT). The toucan adopted the motto “A safe future for Santo André” as a motto, which refers to the “danger” of the left re-governing the city.
“There is a very strong antipetist feeling in the city within the left, but the PT must still grow,” predicts Serra. In Guarulhos, the surveys registered at the TSE point to the favoritism of former PT mayor Elói Pietá, a historical figure of the PT. The city, the second largest electoral college in the state, with 814,342 voters, is experiencing a dispute between Pietá, the current mayor Gustavo Guti (PSD) and Fran Corrêa (PSDB). “The antipetism remains strong, but the population also resents the current management. Pietá has the recall of being mayor, ”said Fran Corrêa.
She will receive R $ 280 thousand from the PSDB for the campaign. Diadema is the other city that in 2016 registered defeat for the PT. To try to return to power, the party selected José de Filippi Júnior, who ruled the city, was Secretary of Health for Fernando Haddad and treasurer of Dilma Rousseff’s presidential campaign. His toucan opponent is councilor Ricardo Yoshio.
For political scientist Carlos Melo, professor at Insper, the PT brand is not as worn out today as it was in 2016, but it is far from the peak of popularity in 2012. “The lack of new names paved the way for former PT mayors, who are reference in cities ”, he evaluated.