With 130,000 votes, former teachers union leader makes history in one of Brazil’s most conservative states
Voters in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná broke from tradition of voting for white, conservative congressmen last Sunday and elected a new face: Carol Dartora (Workers Party/PT), the first black woman elected to national Congress in the history of the state. This victory comes on the tail of the 2020 municipal elections, where Dartora became the first black woman elected to Curitiba’s city council.
Dartora was elected in the state-wide race by 130,654 people, making her the second most voted for progressive candidate. “We proposed a new political culture and representation,” she said, “and the people embraced my candidacy.”
“We have been fighting for the inclusion of the black population in Brazilian society since the end of slavery. Paraná, unfortunately, has lagged behind the rest of the country due to large-scale institutional racism which has blocked opportunities for the black population for a long time,” she said, “I believe that this victory is a result of this historical struggle, this ancestral resistance.”
Dartora, who will take office in 2023, says that it is time to take progressive agendas to the center of power in the Brazil. “This is the moment when the diverse working class, made of men, women, Afro-Brazilians and the poor, feels the need to move forwards. We have to advance in terms of living conditions and basic rights. The population of Paraná understands this need and how our plan for office will work towards achieving it, and this is why I was elected,” she said.
Now that her campaign is over, Dartora says she will keep working to elect Lula president in the second round (October 30), because he responds to the needs of the working class. “People don’t want to go hungry anymore, people can’t stand being unemployed anymore. The Workers’ Party project represents the overcoming of these problems”.