ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Governor Mark Dayton is back home at the Governor’s mansion Monday night after being hospitalized overnight at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
Gov. Dayton, who has a history of health problems, fainted at a political event in Woodbury Sunday night. A picture shows Dayton speaking at the event last night.
According to a senior aide, after Dayton fainted he left the event and fainted again as he was being driven back to the Governor’s mansion. It was at that point that his security detail decided to bring him to Regions Hospital.
Senior Aide to the Governor, Bob Hume, says the problem this time was dehydration. The governor has been recovering from elective back surgery in early December. Since 2012, he has undergone three major procedures, including another back surgery and hip surgery.
While the 69-year-old governor was hospitalized, his office released a letter from him to top legislative leaders about the need for a special session. Hume stressed the Governor was alert and working. The Governor’s son, Eric Dayton, took to Twitter, indicating his father was fine because his “jokes are still terrible.”
Political analyst Larry Jacobs said despite assurances, this latest health scare raises concerns.
“It’s not just one event, it’s a series of events,” Jacobs said. “I think the level of anxiety in the state is higher than it would be normally.”
Dayton has blamed his years as a hockey goalie, including at the Division I college level, for his ailments which in the past he has readily joked about.
“Last time I looked brain cells don’t gather in the hip I won’t be able to run interference for Adrian Peterson next fall, but in terms of what my job description is I don’t see any impediment,” Dayton said back in 2014.
Minnesota’s top legislative leaders say they are confident in the governor’s ability to do his job and to recover.
“The previous issues were relative to back problems and hip problems and those are moving parts. I have shoulder problems myself,” Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said.
“We wish him a speedy recovery and hope that it is nothing more serious than that,” House Speaker Kurt Daudt said.
In addition to the governor being dehydrated, Hume said that the room Sunday night was crowded and warm. Hume said just before he fainted, Gov. Dayton felt pressure in his back and felt light-headed.
The Governors office says Dayton will keep all his scheduled events on Tuesday, including an 8 a.m. event, a 10 a.m. press conference and a full day of meetings