With counting done in more than 97 percent of polling stations, Mussolini garnered more than 8,200 preference votes after standing for the hard-right Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) party.
The 47-year-old, who will be serving a second term as city councillor, insisted that her surname had nothing to do with her popularity.
“The person prevails over their surname, however burdensome it is,” she told the La Repubblica newspaper, adding: “I have many left-wing friends.”
Mussolini’s late father, Romano, was a jazz pianist and brother-in-law to actress Sophia Loren. He was Benito Mussolini’s fourth child.
Rachele Mussolini, the rising star of Italian Brothers of Italy and the grand-daughter of Benito Mussolini and his wife Rachele. Is there any other country in Europe, where former dictators' progeny can make a easy political career? pic.twitter.com/Tc3sQPJ5ee
— Paolo Gerbaudo (@paologerbaudo) October 5, 2021
Other descendants of the Italian dictator have gone into politics, all for the right, including Rachele’s step-sister Alessandra Mussolini, a former member of the European Parliament.
Another relative, Caio Giulio Cesare Mussolini, the dictator’s great-grandson, also stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for Brothers of Italy in the 2019 European parliamentary elections.
“So many people want to put Mussolini on the ballot,” he reportedly said at the time.
What makes this even worse is that, under the voting system used in Italy, you don't just put an X next to a name. You have to write the candidate's surname on the ballot paper. What goes through a person's mind as they write M_U_S_S_O_L_I_N_I ? https://t.co/PB6Rar6KFE
— Nicholas Whithorn (@NickWhithorn) October 5, 2021
Right-wing parties overall fared relatively badly in local elections in Italy on Sunday and Monday, losing mayoral races in key cities such as Milan, Naples and Bologna.
In Rome, a run-off is due to take place on October 17-18 between right-wing candidate Enrico Michetti, a talk radio host, and the centre-left’s Roberto Gualtieri, a former economy minister.
With current mayor Virginia Raggi of the Five Star Movement out, opinion polls suggest Gualtieri is favourite to win in two weeks’ time.