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Sons of injured Brazilian presidential candidate take over campaigning

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Sons of injured Brazilian presidential candidate take over campaigning

Flavio Bolsonaro, son of presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro
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REUTERS/ Ricardo Moraes
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Flavio and Eduardo Bolsonaro are headed to the campaign trail for their hospitalized father and leading Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s presidential race was thrown into chaos when the far-right front-runner was stabbed on Thursday, while campaigning in Juiz de Fora, about 125 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. The left-wing activist who allegedly knifed him claimed to be on "a mission from God."

Two of Jair's five children told reporters their father is on the road to recovery but it is unlikely to return to the streets during this campaign.

“I just want to send a message to the thugs who tried to ruin the life of a family man, a guy who is the hope for millions of Brazilians: You just elected him president. He will win in the first round,” Jair's son Flavio reaffirmed voters on Friday.

According to AFP, the 63-year-old politician and former military officer is in "conscious and in good condition" while receiving treatment in intensive care at Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo. Following the stabbing, Bolsonaro underwent emergency surgery for severe bleeding in his abdomen.

"My father continues to improve and he has started the physical therapy," Flavio said on Twitter.

Bolsonaro was polling behind former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for the upcoming 7 October poll. However Lula, who is serving a 12-year jail sentence for corruption and money laundering, has been ruled ineligible for the contest by the country's top electoral court. With Lula disqualified, Bolsonaro was elevated to the top of the polls.

Part of Brazil's Social Liberal Party, congressman Bolsonaro has campaigned as an outsider and is often referred to as 'Brazil's Donald Trump'. Bolsonaro has not shied away from controversy with comments denigrating women, gay, black and indigenous people.

According to Reuters, surveys consistently give Bolsonaro around 22% in simulated first-round votes. However, those same polls find he would lose to most rivals in the likely event of a runoff, which takes place if no candidate wins a majority in the first round of voting.

General elections are scheduled to be held in Brazil next month to elect the President and Vice President, the National Congress, state and Federal District Governors and Vice Governors, state Legislative Assemblies and Federal District Legislative Chamber.