This question is created inspired in a comment at this related question: What state/country, given the right, refuses to reelect any previous governor/president by most consecutive time?

  • Five times in a row does not seem so out of the ordinary, maybe there is nothing to explain.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 29, 2015 at 5:58
  • @Relaxed I don't know. IMHO its extraordinariness depends on how common has it been around the world. At least in Brazil, with 26 states plus federal district plus its presidency itself, this unique consecutive dissatisfaction outstands.
    – curiouser
    Jul 29, 2015 at 9:48
  • I am looking at this from a completely different angle. If we assume reelection is a purely random process with an advantage to the incumbent, if you look at a large number of series of elections, you would expect some of them to have something that look like a special pattern, just by chance. You would not expect five non-reelection in a row to be common per se but certainly to occur in more than 3% of the cases (that's 1/26) so that the one time when it does occur is not remarkable.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 29, 2015 at 13:49
  • 1
    @Relaxed - the problem is that the state looks like an outlier in the pattern around it
    – user4012
    Jul 29, 2015 at 17:16
  • @user4012 Maybe it is, I know nothing about Brazil, but from a purely statistical point of view five times in a row is very little evidence to go by. Have all or most governors in other states always served two mandates?
    – Relaxed
    Jul 29, 2015 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


In 2018 we had the sixth election where the current governor was reelected which justifies, at least, give some time to think about. As you might notice, I used "we" because I'm natural from Rio Grande do Sul and voted for governors until move to USA in 2008.

First, let's see the six governors and their parties (1):

  • Olivio Dutra (PT), from January 1st 1999 - December 31st, 2003
  • Germano Rigotto (PMDB), 2004-2007
  • Yeda Crusius (PSDB), 2008-2011
  • Tarso Genro (PT), 2012-20015
  • Jose Ivo Sartori (PMDB), 2016-2019
  • Eduardo Leite (PSDB), 2019, expected to remain until December 31st 2022.

The elections are held on October of the previous year, at the same date that presidential elections are being held, ie presidential and gubernatorial campaigns are done together. Also, state and federal representatives are elected on the same day.

During all these years, one constant factor is the financial problems in the state. The last governor, Sartori wasn't able to pay salaries of public employees on the due date. In some months, it was paid in parcels, up to 60 days late. Some governors were more competent in terms of financial management, specially Yeda Crusius, an economist by profession, but when the crisis is deep, there's no easy solution.

Associated with the financial crisis, you have to consider that most of the public education and security (police) is managed by the state, not cities like in USA, and both services are suffering a lot by the lack of investments and money to hire good and enough professionals. It results in poor public services, with high numbers of murders and robberies, insufficient or inadequate schools. Usually, the middle class will enroll their children in private schools but no one could hire personal bodyguards to compensate the lack of police.

Another factor is the political structure of the country. Considering only the last 6 governors, they are from 3 different parties (PT, PMDB, PSDB). In the same day that Eduardo Leite (PSDB) was elected, 55 state representatives were also elected, the top party representations are (2):

  • PT and PMDB, 8 representatives each;
  • PP, 6 representatives;
  • PTB, 5 representatives;
  • PSDB, the new governor's party, with 4 representatives.

In total, there are 11 parties in the State House of Representatives. That is, the governor works with a political minority, the representatives could easily not approve any initiative from the executive branch and create an almost daily barrage of criticism that is exhaustive to answer.

The combination of economic crisis and political disarrangements, in my opinion, is lethal to any possibility of reelection.

  • Welcome to Politics.SE. This looks like a good answer, but it would be even better if you added links to sources supporting some of your statements. Even links to Wikipedia pages on historic data are helpful.
    – JJJ
    Apr 22, 2019 at 0:15

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