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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gubernatorial Hopefuls Look Like President

According to statistics compiled by the Center for Geopolitical Research, the average candidate in the 2000 gubernatorial elections was "strikingly similar" to President Vladimir Putin.

The typical candidate was a man of 48 — the president’s age — with a biography not unlike Putin’s. He was seasoned in politics, where he spent most of the past 10 years and had experience in regional government.

In most cases, he came from the country’s vast army of bureaucrats. Another 25 percent came from the business elite — entrepreneurs or company directors.

Twelve percent of candidates came from the ranks of professors and scholars.

Despite some surface changes, the regional elite is largely the same as it was a decade ago, says the center’s head, Vladimir Kolosov.

"The power is still held by the same party, nomenklatura, the same secretaries of regional party committees and other regional party functionaries, now only in different political robes."

Indeed, 28 out of 88 finalists in last year’s elections held high party posts during the Soviet era.