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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rodina Gets First Governor, in Ryazan

The nationalist-populist Rodina bloc got its first governor Monday, with preliminary election results showing that retired Colonel General Georgy Shpak had defeated his pro-Kremlin United Russia rival in a runoff in the Ryazan region.

Shpak garnered 54 percent of Sunday's vote, compared to 40 percent for Igor Morozov, local election officials said. Five percent voted against all.

Morozov led in the first round on March 14 -- a vote that unseated Ryazan's incumbent governor, Vyacheslav Lyubimov, when he placed third with 22 percent.

Rodina leader Dmitry Rogozin said Monday that Shpak's victory was a turning point for the bloc and that Rodina candidates would continue taking part in regional elections.

In another gubernatorial runoff Sunday, United Russia-backed dairy magnate Nikolai Kiselyov won a landslide victory of 75 percent over incumbent Arkhangelsk Governor Anatoly Yefremov, who took 17.5 percent, election officials said. Almost 7 percent voted against all.

Kiselyov's victory had been expected after he won 44 percent in the first round compared to 26 percent for Yefremov.

Kiselyov on Monday promised to immediately make personnel changes in the regional administration and to draft a new development program for the region, Interfax reported.

Also Sunday, the city of Novosibirsk re-elected Mayor Vladimir Gorodetsky to a second term with 58 percent of the vote. His challenger in the runoff, local television magnate Yakov London, got 29 percent.

Two more gubernatorial runoffs are scheduled for next Sunday. In the Altai region, incumbent Governor Alexander Surikov will go against stand-up comedian Mikhail Yevdokimov in what is expected to be a close vote.

In the Koryak autonomous district, the local chief prosecutor, Boris Chuyev, is believed to have a good chance at defeating incumbent Governor Vladimir Loginov.