Minnesota governor collapses, then recovers in State of the State speech

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed while delivering his State of the State speech on Monday, striking his head on a lectern. The 69-year-old Democrat was helped into a back room and appeared to be conscious, and two colleagues said he appeared to be OK.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt said minutes after the incident that Dayton was “up and about” and that the governor would be all right. Sen. Dan Schoen, who is also a paramedic, was among those who went to Dayton’s aid; he said Dayton was acting normally within 20 minutes of the collapse and poking fun at himself.

The governor’s office said an update on his condition would be released shortly.

Dayton was hospitalized in February 2016 after he fainted at a hot and crowded event. His office said at the time that he had been feeling pressure in his lower back — he had undergone elective back surgery the previous December — before he lost consciousness. Dayton spent just a day in the hospital, and said afterward he had been treated for dehydration.

Dayton has undergone a series of back and hip surgeries in recent years.

The governor fell about three-fourths of the way through his speech as he laid out the opening salvo in a brewing battle with Republican legislative majorities over where to bring the state after November’s elections.

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