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 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 that Campos' death could make it harder for President Dilma Rousseff to win a second term, especially if his running mate Marina Silva runs in his place, as allowed by electoral law.
Silva's popularity could get an additional boost from an outpouring of sympathy in the wake of Campos' death.
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.
"Brazil lost a young leader with an extremely promising future, a man who could reach the highest offices of the country," she said, her voice cracking in a nationally televised address.
Brazilian financial markets initially slumped on the news of Campos' death and seesawed throughout the day as investors struggled to grasp what the impact would be on the election.
The Bovespa stock index ended 1.53 percent lower after falling as much as 2 percent, then rebounding and finally dropping again in late trade. Brazil's currency weakened 0.53 percent before bouncing back.
Campos is survived by his wife Renata de Andrade Lima Campos and five children, including a six-month-old boy.