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For several years now, Roberto Lavagna has used his "La Clo" estate to escape from politics. But on Saturday, his passion for cows mixed with campaign strategy. Lavagna appears to still be focused on running for president in October.
The economist brought together his campaign team for a "spiritual retreat" to discuss electoral strategy.
His team arrived throughout the morning before a work breakfast and later a barbecue.
With final submission due within a matter of weeks, the focus at la Clo, in Máximo Paz, Buenos Aires province, was on defining candidacies and the future activities of their leader, including presentations at universities.
They also discussed the situation surrounding Alternativa Federal, a coalition Lavagna was aligned to informally until very recently, and dissident Peronist Sergio Massa's call for a "new majority".
"These events show that Lavagna was not wrong when he did not agree to participating in a primaries race within a group that still has not defined its candidacies or policies", a source inside the meeting told Perfil, referring to Alternativa Federal.
The men and women in attendance reaffirmed their desire to run without participating in a primaries race and to continue defining themselves as the true third option, which Massa has apparently abandoned.
"The positioning of Sergio [Massa] inside the Kirchnerite movement gives us the possibility of capturing votes from those in the electorate who are not willing to see him in an alliance with the past, which [those voters] have rejected these past few years", the source said.
Attention is now turning to Juan Manuel Urtubey, Governor of Salta province. If Massa decides to jump ship and join Fernández de Kirchner, the Alternativa Federal alliance may disintegrate. With time running out, Lavagna's team is attentive to Urtubey's next move.
Lavagna's campaign chiefs in Buenos Aires province are Alejandro “Topo” Rodríguez and Juan José Amondarain, while Eugenio Casielles is in charge of negations in the Capital and further afield in provinces beyond Buenos Aires.
Lavagna enjoys widespread support among Socialist and Radical votes in some provinces, Casielles reiterated. The campaign team, however, is worried about four provinces: Neuquén, Santa Cruz, Formosa and La Rioja, Perfil reported. Much attention was given during the meeting to the situation facing regional and provincial economies.
Attendees also focussed on the inclusion of young people in Lavagna's campaign. They plan to launch a youth movement in the coming days to support the candidacy of the former Economy minister.
Ramiro Marra, a YouTube, and Brian Giménez will run Lavagna's social media campaign where the focus will be on showing the candidate's personality.