Last poll gives Galán victory in Sunday’s Bogotá Mayoral election

New Liberal mayoral candidate for Bogotá, Carlos Fernando Galán. Photo: FILE

Carlos Fernando Galán, the 46-year-old Colombian politician and youngest son of the late Luis Carlos Galán, the 1989 presidential candidate who was assassinated during a campaign rally in Soacha, just south of Bogotá, by the Medellín drug cartel, has firmly established himself as the leading contender in the race for Mayor of Bogotá.

The most recent polling data, conducted four days ahead of the 2023 territorial elections – in collaboration with GAD3 and RCN media group – reveals that Carlos Fernando Galán, is poised to secure a decisive victory on Sunday, October 29.

With 40.4% of voter support, Galán’s lead over his competitors has grown significantly in recent weeks. His closest rival, Gustavo Bolívar of the ruling Pacto Histórico party, lags behind with 21.7% of the vote, while Daniel Oviedo of Con Toda Por Bogotá takes third place with 17.2%.

Carlos Fernando Galán’s political journey is intrinsically linked to the enduring legacy of his father, Luis Carlos Galán, slain by Pablo Escobar. Luis Carlos Galán’s commitment to combating organized crime and political corruption serves as a pillar for Carlos Fernando’s reform-focused and consensus-building agenda.

Galán obtained a degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and expanded his post-graduate education with a specialization in government, management, and public affairs at the Universidad Externado de Colombia, program affiliated with Columbia University. In Washington, he initiated a Master’s in International Affairs, although he chose to discontinue it in favor of returning to Colombia to embark on a career in journalism.

Galán’s journalistic career took root in Washington D.C., between 2000 and 2001, when he began working as a correspondent for Semana Magazine. Subsequently, he ventured into the political arena as an advisor to César Gaviria during his tenure as Secretary General of the OAS, serving in this capacity from 2001 to 2003. His role brought him even closer to the former President, with whom he already had a connection through Gaviria’s involvement in Luis Carlos Galán’s Nuevo Liberalismo movement.

During this period, Carlos Fernando gained valuable experience in crisis management, with a specialization in topics related to the Democratic Charter and the process of democratic facilitation in Venezuela following the 2002 coup. He also fulfilled the role of Electoral Observer in the 2001 Nicaraguan presidential elections, which saw Enrique Bolaños emerge victorious.

Upon his return to Colombia, he assumed the role of reporter at Cambio Magazine between 2003 and 2004. This marked the initiation of his investigative role in Colombian politics. He further solidified his presence in the national media as Political Editor of El Tiempo.

In early 2007, Galán became a candidate for Germán Vargas Lleras’ Cambio Radical party, in the race for the Bogotá City Council. This step distanced the aspiring politician from the Liberal Party, and with the backing of Cambio Radical, Galán was elected to Bogotá’s City Council in 2007 with 48,000 votes.

His multifaceted background, from his early education to journalism and his gradual ascent through the political ranks, should Carlos Fernando Galán emerge victorious on Sunday, this would signify a major milestone in a potential presidential aspiration, but also end a decisive runoff vote on November 19 that could give leftist candidate Gustavo Bolívar additional momentum, and even greater political backing from President Petro and Pacto Histórico.

Galán has denounced a growing campaign of online misinformation, fake news and smear tactics against him, as his support among the electorate continues to grow.