Minnesota governor released from hospital after fainting

AP News
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Posted: Feb 01, 2016 7:27 PM
Minnesota governor released from hospital after fainting

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton was released from the hospital Monday afternoon, a day after the 69-year-old governor fainted at a hot and crowded event.

Dayton's office said the governor had been feeling pressure in his lower back before he lost consciousness Sunday evening at a function for a state representative's volunteer campaign staff in the Twin Cities suburb of Woodbury. He underwent elective back surgery in early December.

After undergoing tests and receiving fluids for dehydration, Dayton was released from Regions Hospital in St. Paul, deputy chief of staff and senior adviser Bob Hume said in a statement. Hume said Dayton planned to return to the governor's residence in St. Paul and would resume his normal work schedule on Tuesday.

Dayton canceled a lunch with a top lawmaker during his brief hospital stay. Throughout his treatment, Dayton's office said the governor was in good spirits, joking with staff and was eager to get back to work.

Hume said Dayton had been making the rounds at the Sunday event before he began to feel the pressure build in his lower back, started to feel light-hearted and later fainted. After fainting again on his way to the car to return home, he was brought to Regions Hospital by ambulance.

Questions about his health have dogged Dayton — the oldest person elected to the Minnesota governor's office — since he took office in 2011.

After the most recent of three major surgeries, a voluntary procedure to fuse two vertebrae in his lower back, Dayton brushed aside any suggestion that recurring health problems would affect his work or force him out of office before completing his second term. Dayton had a similar procedure in 2011 and underwent hip surgery in 2014 to repair a damaged tendon.

"For the next three years, if I'm living and breathing, I will be the governor of the state of Minnesota," he told reporters last month.

The surgeries forced the Democratic governor out of the public eye for days and sometimes weeks. Since the December procedure, he's usually spotted walking gingerly, often with a cane, during public appearances.

Dayton had been scheduled to meet with staff and a top Minnesota lawmaker on Monday. Hume said the governor likely wouldn't have any events after his release.