News and Commentary

GOP Senate Candidate From Minnesota Hospitalized, Sent To Emergency Surgery, Says Campaign
UNITED STATES - JUNE 13: Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Wednesday morning, June 13, 2018.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

U.S. Senate Candidate Jason Lewis, a former Republican congressman running against incumbent Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), was hospitalized early Monday morning and has been sent into emergency surgery, according to his campaign manager. 

Campaign Manager Tom Syzmanski said in a statement Lewis experienced “severe abdominal pain” early in the morning and was subsequently “rushed” to the hospital. Lewis has been diagnosed with a “severe internal hernia,” he said. 

“Following tests and examinations, doctors determined that he is suffering from a severe internal hernia, a diagnosis which they indicated is life threatening if not treated quickly. As such, Congressman Lewis was rushed into emergency surgery which he is now undergoing,” said Syzmanski in the statement, released around 11 a.m. CST. 

“Prior to being taken to the operating room, Jason was in good spirits, optimistic, and true to form, he was speculating about when he could resume campaigning, eager to continue fighting for his fellow Minnesotans,” said Syzmanski, adding: “Please join me in praying for a successful surgery and a quick and speedy recovery for Jason.”

The candidate’s campaign said more information was not available at this time but indicated that developments would be made public as they became available. 

Lewis, a former one-term congressman, has been working to unseat the Democratic senator who was elected to finish the term of former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who resigned back in 2018. Minnesota was last represented by a Republican senator more than a decade ago, when Norm Coleman lost re-election to Franken. 

Recent Senate polling compiled by FiveThirtyEight shows that Lewis has been gradually reducing the lead Smith has held over him since September. SurveyUSA, the most recent poll on the website, shows Smith with a mere one-point lead as of mid-October. 

Back in early October, Smith had a seven-point advantage over Lewis in the same SurveyUSA poll, and in late September, a separate poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy showed Lewis behind eight points. 

Recent Minnesota polling for the presidential election, on the other hand, shows Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by about six points, according to the RealClearPolitics average. One poll released by the Trafalgar Group showed the two candidates tied in mid-August, the most recent poll available from the group on the RealClearPolitics website. 

Minnesota hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972, when President Richard Nixon swept 49 states in an electoral landslide. Minnesota was the only state not carried by President Ronald Reagan in the 1984 election against Walter Mondale, a Minnesota politician and former Vice President to Democratic President Jimmy Carter.

UPDATE: Emergency Surgery For GOP Senate Candidate From Minnesota ‘Successful,’ Says Campaign

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