National Politics

Florida U.S. representative collapses during voting in Capitol


WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Jacksonville, collapsed during voting Wednesday night and was removed from the Capitol on a stretcher, according to reports.

"He appeared to be receiving oxygen through a mask," according to The Hill. "GOP lawmakers emerged from the vote a short time later, saying Rutherford had been 'stabilized.' "

An email to Rutherford's office has not yet been returned. The Florida Times-Union reported Rutherford, a 64-year-old freshman and former Jacksonville sheriff sworn in eight days ago, was "conscious and alert" at the hospital, according to a spokesman.

Later Wednesday, Rutherford's chief of staff, Kelly Simpson, said in a statement the congressman had not suffered a heart attack, contrary to some media reports.

"Congressman Rutherford is conscious, alert and in good spirits," she said. "He did not suffer a heart attack, but he continues to be evaluated by doctors. A further update on the Congressman's condition will be provided once doctors have finished their evaluation.

"The Rutherford family appreciates the prayers, thoughts and support they have received this evening."