Brazilian Presidential Candidate Dies In Plane Crash

Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos died Wednesday morning after his private jet crashed in a residential neighborhood of Santos.
Posted at 8:07 PM, Aug 13, 2014

Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos died Wednesday morning in a plane crash, just two months before voting begins. 

Campos' private jet reportedly aborted its landing in the coastal Brazilian city of Santos due to bad weather. It then crashed in a residential area, where footage shows smoke billowing from buildings. 

Incumbent President Dilma Rousseff released a statement following news of Campos' death saying "All of Brazil is in mourning. Today we lost a great Brazillian, Eduardo Campos. We lost a great companion." Her website directs to a tribute to Campos calling for three days of morning and suspension of any campaign activity. 

The Telegraph reports that Campos was third in election polls. President Rousseff led at 38 percent and Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party sat at second with 23 percent.

But now, with Campos' death, a rift has opened in the Brazilian political spectrum as voters begin speculating who the Brazilian Socialist Party will choose as his replacement.

According to the Brazilian newspaper, O Globo, Campos' party has ten days to choose a new candidate, which can come from any of the six parties affiliated with his political coalition — including his running mate Marina Silva. Her nomination, The Wall Street Journal writes, could threaten the other two candidates.

"Ms. Silva's environmental and social activism in the Amazon, dating to her days at the side of the slain activist Chico Mendes, are likely to appeal to Ms. Rousseff's left-wing base. Meanwhile, the perception of her as a reformer may appeal to more conservative supporters of Mr. Neves."

Silva's popularity in the 2010 presidential election, in which she garnered 19 percent of the votes, may be enough to help create a second round of voting, according to a public policy director who spoke with Bloomberg

All seven people aboard the plane died. Campos, 49, is survived by his five children and wife.