A little over a week before election day, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis of Minnesota underwent emergency surgery for a life-threatening hernia. According to the Associated Press, Lewis underwent surgery on Monday for a severe internal hernia. His campaign later announced that the surgery was successful.
Lewis' campaign said that the situation was severe, as the condition could have been life-threatening if he was not treated quickly. An internal hernia is a bulge or protrusion of an organ, which can lead to obstruction or other health problems. Tom Szymanski, Lewis' campaign manager, released a statement on the lawmaker's condition, saying that the surgery was “successful and minimally invasive. Provided that his recovery continues on a positive trajectory, doctors anticipate that he is likely to be released from the hospital in the next couple of days.” He did not share when Lewis might continue to campaign. Lewis, a former one-term congressman from Minnesota, might be best known to people as a conservative talk radio host. He is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Tina Smith.
Lewis was reportedly hospitalized in Hibbing, according to Minnesota Republican state chair Jennifer Carnahan. Hibbing is where Vice President Mike Pence was due to hold a rally on Monday, which Lewis was supposed to attend. While Szymanski did not reveal where Lewis was being hospitalized, he did confirm that he was due to take part in the rally with the vice president, as the Republican candidate has been a big supporter of President Donald Trump. Pence later took to Twitter to release a statement on the news, wishing the lawmaker a safe and quick recovery. “Praying for a Successful Surgery and Quick Recovery for our Friend @LewisForMN,” the vice president tweeted. “Today. Minnesota and America are with you!” Sen. Smith also wished Lewis a "successful surgery and a speedy recovery" on Twitter.
Lewis was reportedly experiencing severe abdominal pain on Monday morning. He was later taken to an emergency room for treatment. At the time, Szymanski released a statement about the former congressman's hospitalization, sharing, “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." As the campaign manager said in a subsequent statement, Lewis is expected to be released from the hospital sometime in the next few days.