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Senate in the balance? Dem senator reportedly has stroke

Raw Story reports that U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, Democrat of South Dakota, has suffered a stroke and that means the scheduled Democratic takeover of the Senate is up in the air if he cannot serve.

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.

More details from AP:

“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.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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