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Among the two dozen candidates for mayor of Novosibirsk there is no clear favorite yet

There are 21 candidates vying for the post of mayor of Novosibirsk, and among them unexpectedly were two high-status representatives of Governor Andrei Travnikov’s team – his deputies Maxim Kudryavtsev and Roman Telenchinov, who oversee digitalization and the construction complex. According to one version, the federal center has been busy in recent weeks with the presidential elections that took place on March 15–17 and simply did not have time to choose between two vice-governors.

The deadline for submitting documents to participate in the first competition for the post of mayor of Novosibirsk (previously the mayor was elected in direct elections) expired on the evening of March 15. On the last day, 12 people submitted applications at once, and the final list of candidates included 21 names. In particular, it included the region’s Deputy Minister of Industry Maxim Ostanin, city council deputy from the Green party Igor Ukraintsev, head of the regional branch of the Pensioners Party Eduard Kozhemyakin, SVO member Alexander Trushakin, mayor’s office employee Viktor Zverev, orthopedic traumatologist Oleg Khromin, head of the Shipowners Association Western Siberia Alexander Karakotsky, as well as three individual entrepreneurs, five directors, a sales manager and three unemployed people.

Two representatives of the team of Novosibirsk Governor Andrei Travnikov stand out from the rest of the participants – his deputies Maxim Kudryavtsev and Roman Telenchinov.

The head of the region has repeatedly said that he does not comment on personnel decisions. On March 6, in an interview with the NGS portal, Mr. Travnikov said that after the completion of the list of candidates, “it will be obvious” the candidate for mayor whom he is “ready to support,” but so far there has been no clarity: in terms of status, Messrs. Kudryavtsev and Telenchinov are actually equal. Maxim Kudryavtsev was appointed vice-governor in 2022. Before that, he worked for four years as vice president of PJSC Rostelecom, and in 2016 he was elected to the State Duma of the Russian Federation from United Russia. In the government of the Novosibirsk region, Mr. Kudryavtsev oversees two ministries: physical education and sports, as well as digital development and communications. In 2023, the governor appointed him responsible for digital transformation. Roman Telenchinov, in turn, oversees the Ministry of Construction, as well as the Ministry of Transport and Road Facilities. He was appointed vice-governor in 2021, and before that he worked as deputy head of the department of construction and architecture – head of the construction and engineering department of the Novosibirsk mayor’s office.

Cases when two vice-governors participate in a competition for the post of mayor of a large city are extremely rare. As a rule, the favorite supported by the head of the region reaches the final in the form of a vote at a session of the municipal parliament along with a “technical” opponent. For example, in September 2022 in Krasnoyarsk, and participated in such a vote. O. Mayor Vladislav Loginov and the head of the Central District Administration Vadim Voitsekhovsky, and Mr. Voitsekhovsky himself invited the deputies to vote for his competitor.

The head of the Novosibirsk branch of the Civil Society Development Foundation, deputy of the regional legislative assembly, Konstantin Antonov, is sure that Maxim Kudryavtsev is the favorite. The political scientist told Regional Comments that Mr. Kudryavtsev’s candidacy has already been agreed upon by the presidential administration, and Mr. Telenchinov is participating in the competition “to give the procedure more legitimacy” and “to provide insurance.”

However, not all experts agree with this conclusion. “Two options arise. The first is that the regional authorities did not have time to fully agree on the candidacy in the presidential administration,” political scientist Alexei Mazur told Kommersant. “Apparently, most of the candidates were eliminated from the long list, and only two remained, none of whom were 100% suitable.” . And since the end of the nomination came on March 15, when the entire internal political bloc was busy with other things, then maybe they postponed the decision.” Mr. Mazur considers the nomination of one of the vice-governors on his own initiative to be much less likely: “In this case, we will soon see his resignation.”

Political scientist Alexey Osipov draws attention to the fact that, despite the long list of candidates, most of them do not have experience in large-scale work in the city economy.

Working as mayor of Novosibirsk “requires not just some knowledge and skills, but also a lot of practical experience,” he noted.

The competition for the post of mayor of Novosibirsk, following which the competition commission must submit at least two candidates for approval by the City Duma, is scheduled for April 4.

Valery Lavsky, Novosibirsk

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