José Manuel de la Sota

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José Manuel de la Sota
59th Governor of Córdoba
In office
December 9, 2011 – December 10, 2015
Lieutenant Alicia Pregno
Preceded by Juan Schiaretti
Succeeded by Juan Schiaretti
57th Governor of Córdoba
In office
July 12, 1999 – December 10, 2007
Lieutenant Germán Kammerath (1999)
Hernán Olivero (acting 1999–2003)
Juan Schiaretti (2003–07)
Preceded by Ramón Mestre
Succeeded by Juan Schiaretti
for Córdoba Province
In office
December 10, 1995 – July 12, 1999
Personal details
Born (1949-11-28) November 28, 1949 (age 68)
Córdoba, Argentina
Nationality Argentine
Political party Justicialist Party
Spouse(s) Silvia Zanichelli (1972—89)
Olga Ruitort (1989—2004)
Alma mater National University of Córdoba
Profession Lawyer

José Manuel de la Sota (born November 28, 1949) is an Argentine Justicialist Party politician. He was the governor of Córdoba Province from 1999 until 2007, and was reelected to the post in 2011. Possible candidate in the 2015 presidential election in the Christian Democratic Party, part of the United for a New Alternative.


Born in Córdoba, de la Sota studied law at the National University of Córdoba and married Silvia Zanichelli, the daughter of former Governor Arturo Zanichelli, in 1972. He was designated Legislative Secretary to Córdoba Councilman Miguel Flores, a left-wing Peronist, in 1973, and Chief of Staff to Mayor José Domingo Coronel, a right-wing Peronist, in 1975; the March 1976 coup, however, cut his political career short.

The return of democracy in 1983 led de la Sota to run in the Justicialist Party (Peronist) primaries for governor. Coming in second, he ran for Mayor of Córdoba, but was amply defeated by UCR candidate Ramón Mestre. He was, despite a continued poor showing by the Peronists in the province, one of four candidates elected on the party list to the Argentine Chamber of Deputies for Córdoba Province in 1985. He served in the 1986 Provincial Constitutional Convention as the body's Vice President, and secured the nomination as candidate for governor in 1987; he was defeated by the incumbent, Eduardo Angeloz of the UCR, by 5%, however.

The tragic death in 1989 of one of his daughters led to his divorce, and in December 1989, he married Olga Ruitort, a San Juan Province Peronist lawmaker. He had been reelected to Congress, but resigned in 1990 to accept a post as Ambassador to Brazil. De la Sota again ran for governor of Córdoba in 1991. Defeated by Governor Angeloz by over 15%, this latter setback was significant because it cost De la Sota much of his support within the Justicialist Party (which was flush with victory in the 1991 mid-terms), leading to President Carlos Menem's endorsement of a separate party list in Córdoba for the 1993 mid-term elections, and to De la Sota's failure to regain a seat in Congress.

The 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution raised the number of Senators from two to three (giving the largest minority party in each province the third seat), and this allowed De la Sota to return to high-profile elected office as a Senator in 1995. His tenure in the Senate was highlighted by a largely unsuccessful effort to reform the nation's budget process, proposing a fiscally conservative program that would replace the value added tax for a national sales tax of 15%, and would limit spending. He was elected Governor of Córdoba in December 1998, defeating Governor Mestre (in the first Córdoba governor's race won by Peronists since the 1950s). He launched a putative campaign for president in 2002,[1] though he withdrew in favor of his candidacy for a second four-year term as governor, which he obtained by nearly 15%.

De la Sota and Olga Ruitort had two daughters, but divorced in 2004.[2] As governor, he emphasized public works, and during his tenure, 340 schools and over 20,000 public housing units were completed (in a province of 3 million inhabitants). He reaped controversy, however, following his creation of a Corruption Prosecution Office in 2000. The director appointed to the office, Luis Juez, uncovered evidence of corruption by, among others, Mayor Kammerath, Public Works Minister Carlos Caserio, and the governor's Chief of Staff (and wife), Olga Ruitort.[3] Lacking support from the governor, Juez resigned on October 10, 2002.[4] The governor's expropriation of the former Ferreyra Palace in 2005 for its use as the Evita Fine Arts Museum also proved contentious; the Ferreya family was reportedly compensated with a fraction of the landmark's market value, and most of the mansion's grand interiors were lost during its subsequent conversion as a museum.[5]

He joined President Néstor Kirchner in supporting Vice-Governor Juan Schiaretti, who was elected in 2007 over Juez in highly contested results.[6] Following speculation that his 2011 bid for governor would be as an opponent to Kirchnerism, de la Sota gave President Cristina Kirchner his endorsement late in the campaign.[7] He was returned to the office of Governor of Córdoba by voters in the August 7, 2011, elections, defeating Juez and UCR candidate Oscar Aguad.[8]

Governor de la Sota distanced himself from the president following the 2011 elections amid a dispute over ANSES social security funds in excess of a billion pesos (USD 210 million),[9] and in September 2012 established a local Federal Peronist faction opposed to Kirchnerism.[10]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ramón Mestre
Governor of Córdoba
Succeeded by
Juan Schiaretti
Preceded by
Juan Schiaretti
Governor of Córdoba
Succeeded by