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Report: Senator suffers stroke

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 13, 2006 04:17 PM

***Update: Spokesman says it was not a stroke. Johnson underwent emergency surgery of an unknown nature last night…926am update – http://hotair.com/archives/2006/12/14/sen-johnson-in-critical-condition/…***

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It’s unconfirmed, but word is that U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) has suffered a stroke. First and foremost, keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. There’s already a rush to calculate the political consequences in the Senate. Left-wing blog Raw Story has details:

MSNBC is currently reporting that Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) has suffered a stroke.

There is no word, currently, on the Senator’s condition.

A call from RAW STORY to Johnson’s office has not yet been returned.

If Johnson were to pass away, or be forced to retire, the US Constitution delegates the task of appointing a replacement to South Dakota lawmakers, who in turn, often turn that task over to the Governor. The Governor of that state, Mike Rounds, is a Republican, and both houses of the state legislature are dominated by Republicans.

In the case of South Dakota, the decision would fall to Rounds, whose appointment would serve as senator until 2008 at which point the seat would be up for election.

Sen. Johnson is reportedly under observation at George Washington University Hospital in D.C.

A few more details:

“Senator Tim Johnson was taken to George Washington University Hospital this afternoon suffering from a possible stroke,” read a statement from his Senate office. “At this stage, he is undergoing a comprehensive evaluation by the stroke team.”

Johnson had become disoriented during a call with reporters, stuttering in response to a question. He appeared to recover, asking if there were any additional questions and then signing off.

The Democratic Underground thread is here.

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