Brazil Presidential Candidate Killed in Plane Crash

(Reuters) -

Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in a plane crash on Wednesday, throwing the October election and local financial markets into disarray.

A private jet carrying Campos and his entourage crashed in a residential area in bad weather as it prepared to land in the coastal city of Santos. The accident killed all seven people on board, the Sao Paulo state fire department said.

Campos, 49, was running on a business-friendly platform and was in third place in recent polls with the support of about 10 percent of voters.

While he was not expected to win the Oct. 5 vote, he was widely seen as one of Brazil’s brightest young political stars and his death instantly changes the dynamics of the race. Some analysts said it could make it harder for leftist President Dilma Rousseff to win a second term.

His running mate, environmentalist Marina Silva, is a former presidential candidate and was even better known than Campos at this relatively early stage of the campaign.

In the hours after the crash, politicians from all sides expressed grief for a charismatic young former governor who even opponents privately whispered was likely to become president — probably not in 2014, but someday.

Rousseff, who is leading the race, announced she would suspend all campaigning for three days. “All of Brazil is in mourning,” she said.