SAO PAULO (AP) -- Just eight months into his job as Sao Paulo mayor, Joao Doria appears to be positioning himself as a presidential hopeful who can save Brazil from a seemingly bottomless pit of graft scandals, even while insisting he isn't running.
Telegenic and media savvy thanks to years of working in television studios, the millionaire communications mogul has something the majority of Brazilian presidential hopefuls don't: a name unsullied by allegations of corruption at a time when much of Brazil's congress is believed to be under criminal investigation.
Image - Establishment - Year - Victory - Sao
That image helped him shock the political establishment last year with a landslide mayoral victory in Sao Paulo. It was the first time in decades a mayoral candidate in the country's largest city had won in the first round, automatically vaulting him into consideration for the October 2018 presidential election.
Since taking office Jan. 1, Doria's routine denials of interest in the presidency have done little to quell speculation.
Mayor - Efforts - City - Crackland - Graffiti
The 59-year-old mayor has led splashy efforts to stamp out the city's drug-infested "crackland," clean up graffiti and sell off dozens of public properties, including a public cemetery. He has also been speaking about national issues, such as pension and labor law reforms, as well as international topics, denouncing Venezuela's socialist government and occasionally showing off the French he learned as a child while living a few years in Paris.
"Doria is clearly trying to show and construct an image that goes beyond just the mayor of Sao Paulo," said Mauricio Santoro, a political scientist at the state University of Rio de Janeiro. "As a candidate, however, he'll run into many problems."
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A July poll by the respected Datafolha institute said Doria was favored by 10 percent of potential voters next year, putting him in fourth place, ahead of far more established candidates.
Doria was born into Sao...
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