Sao Paulo Mayor Bruno Covas dies of cancer, aged 41

FILE PHOTO: Bruno Covas, mayor of Sao Paulo, celebrates his re-election during the municipal elections in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 29, 2020. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Bruno Covas, the 41-year old mayor of Brazil's largest city and financial hub Sao Paulo, has died of cancer, the Sirio-Libanes Hospital where he was being treated confirmed on Sunday.

Tributes poured in from across the political spectrum for Covas, who followed in the political footsteps of his grandfather Mario Covas, who served as both mayor and governor of Sao Paulo.

"Bruno Covas' strength came from his character and the example he set. He was loyal to his family, friends, the people of Sao Paulo and the members of his party, the PSDB," said Sao Paulo state Governor Joao Doria in a statement, referring to the Brazilian Social Democratic Party.

"His determination and work are an inspiration to us all," he said.

Covas was Doria's running mate in the 2016 Sao Paulo race for mayor and replaced him in April 2018 when Doria became governor.

He had already been diagnosed with cancer when he won re-election in November last year. He tested positive for COVID-19 last year and made a full recovery.

Covas' win in November boosted Doria, an increasingly thorny adversary of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. The two have repeatedly clashed over the COVID-19 pandemic and Doria plans to seek his party's nomination for president in 2022.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Eduardo Simoes; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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