The municipal elections are not nearly as interesting to most Costa Ricans as the latest soccer match. And for expats who cannot vote, Feb.7 will be just another Sunday.
All the municipal elected positions are up for grabs, but the most interesting race is in San José Centro where Johnny Araya Monge seeks to make a comeback.
He was the Partido Liberación Nacional candidate who dropped out and gave the race to Luis Guillermo Solís. That cost Araya censure from his party. So to become mayor, he created his own ticket, the Partido Alianza por San José.
He faces three other candidates, and the prize is a big one.
When he was mayor Araya made about $14,000 a month.
Until he decided to run for president, Araya had been mayor since the 1990s. Despite his shortcomings in the presidential race, he is considered a favorite, thanks to name recognition.
Also running are Daguer Hernández of the Partido Acción Ciudadana, Jorge Eduardo Sánchez of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana and José Manuel Echandi of the Partido Integración Nacional.
Also up for grabs are positions as regidores or council members.
The races for mayor are intensely local with road maintenance, parks and other citizen amenities being very important.