MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton is at home recovering after he collapsed Monday during his 2017 State of the State Address.
About 50 minutes into his annual speech to the Minnesota Legislature, Dayton paused to take a drink of water before slurring his words. He then fainted and hit his head on the podium.
Two GOP legislators, Rep. Jeff Backer and Rep. Jim Newberger, gave emergency aid to the governor as he lay on the floor behind the podium. He appeared to be unconscious for several minutes.
The Legislature adjourned following Dayton’s collapse.
Dayton’s Chief of Staff Jamie Tincher said the governor walked out of the Capitol on his own and returned home, where EMTs performed a routine check.
WCCO’s Pat Kessler reported the governor was joking with paramedics after regaining consciousness.
Dayton’s son, Eric Dayton, tweeted his dad was “doing great” around 8:15 p.m.
Legislative leaders tell WCCO they are praying for Dayton and wishing him a quick recovery.
“The governor is in our thoughts and prayers and we’re hoping for a quick recovery,” Daudt said. “I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
“We’re all here just praying for the governor. We’re all one Minnesota on days like this,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said. “We all care for each other. So we — that’s our whole focus right now, period, is praying for our governor. Whatever it is, that he has a speedy recovery. Beyond that, tonight we’re here for him.”
Dayton, who will turn 70 on Thursday, briefly stumbled while entering the chamber to deliver his address.
Tincher said Dayton will present his 2017 budget at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday.