Nation & World News

Brazilian Presidential Candidate Campos Dies In Plane Crash

By Bill Chappell on August 13th, 2014

Eduardo Campos, an economist who was running for Brazil’s presidency as the leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party, has died in a plane crash near the coast southeast of Sao Paulo.

Brazil’s O Globo says Campos was a passenger on a Cessna business jet that crashed in the city of Santos Wednesday morning with seven people aboard, including the candidate’s wife and son. The plane had been preparing to land in bad weather, reports the Jornal de Hoje. Campos was 49.

Details about this story are still emerging; we’ll update this page as needed.

Before running for president, Campos had been the governor of the state of Pernambuco, in northeast Brazil; he also served in the government of former President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, as the minister of science and technology.

Last fall, Campos spoke to The Economist about his political goals:

“Good management depends heavily on new politics. Distributing bits of wealth in complicity with political forces that are behind the times will never lead to good management of public resources. It will always lead to a lack of money that will be plugged by dipping into taxpayers’ pockets or company coffers.”

According to Reuters, Campos “had the support of about 10 percent of voters in recent polls. He positioned himself as a business-friendly leftist and was a former ally of President Dilma Rousseff, who is seeking a second term.”

Update at 5:30 p.m. ET. New Political Landscape:

Campos’ death makes the presidential race unpredictable, reports NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro:

“Campos was unlikely to face Dilma Rousseff in a run-off. But his running mate is Marina Silva. She was always seen as the bigger threat to Rousseff. When she was unable to form her own party, Silva decided to run on Campos’ ticket. The big question now is whether the Campos’s coalition will choose her to succeed him.”

As a leftist and a woman, Silva would most likely take away votes from Rousseff, says political scientist Pedro Arruda.

Update at 3:40 p.m. ET. White House’s ‘Profound Condolences’:

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden issued a statement on the crash, saying in part: “We extend our profound condolences to the family and other loved ones of the deceased and to the people of Brazil. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with Brazil on this tragic occasion.”

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