Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed during his State of the State address Monday evening in front of an assembled audience of lawmakers, state officials and Minnesotans.
The 69-year-old Dayton fainted 45 minutes into the speech before a joint session of the Legislature at the state Capitol in St. Paul. After spending several minutes on the ground in the House chamber, he walked into a back room with assistance. His staff later said that he returned home, was evaluated by medics and is planning to deliver his biennial budget on Tuesday.
The governor, who will turn 70 on Thursday, has had a series of health concerns during his two terms, including one prior fainting spell and hip and back surgeries.
On Jan. 31, 2016, Dayton spent a night in the hospital to be treated for dehydration after collapsing at a political event. Last year, the governor, who is occasionally unsteady on his feet, said he was aware that he had physical limitations but vowed to serve out his last term.
Although he has used a cane in public and has been out of the public eye during his back surgeries, Dayton has not had such a public collapse — with the entire state watching — before.
Featured Image by Pioneer Press: Scott Takush