GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis recovering after emergency surgery

    U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis held a town hall in Bemidji in support of Beltrami County's vote to not accept new refugees. Photo by Max Nesterak/Minnesota Reformer.

    GOP U.S. Senate candidate and former congressman Jason Lewis on Monday was rushed into emergency surgery because of a “severe internal hernia” after experiencing abdominal pain, his campaign announced.

    “Early this morning, (former Rep.) Lewis was rushed to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain,” his campaign said in a statement. “Following tests and examination, doctors determined that he is suffering from a severe internal hernia, a diagnosis which they indicated is life-threatening if not treated quickly.”

    His campaign said he was in “good spirits, optimistic” prior to undergoing surgery. 

    In an update later Monday, his campaign said the surgery was “successful and minimally invasive.”

    The statement also said: “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.”

    Minnesota GOP chair Jennifer Carnahan tweeted her well wishes.

    “Our thoughts and prayers are with ⁦@LewisForMN⁩,” she said. “He’s one of the biggest fighters I’ve ever met in my life. We are praying for him as he undergoes surgery and wish him a speedy recovery.”

    Lewis is currently running against U.S. Sen. Tina Smith as the GOP-endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate. It’s unclear how long he would be off the campaign trail. Previously, he was sidelined because of exposures to people who tested positive for COVID-19.

    Smith on Twitter said she and her husband, Archie, wished Lewis well. “Archie and I are wishing Jason Lewis a successful surgery and a speedy recovery,” the tweet said.

    Ricardo Lopez
    Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.