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Rice eager to resume campaigning after suffering brain hemorrhage

WILLMAR -- DFL Senate candidate Larry Rice, of Willmar, is recovering from a mild brain hemorrhage.

He's been at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis since Thursday. He could be released from the hospital as soon as today and is expected to make a full recovery.

According to a news release issued Friday afternoon by his campaign, Rice is planning to resume his campaign next week.

The Willmar businessman is running for the Senate District 13 seat currently held by Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar.

"I'm feeling much better and looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail," said Rice in the news release. "I really appreciate all of the well wishes and words of support."

Although Rice's health and recovery are the primary concern, his campaign chairman, Sam Nelson, said there's no reason why Rice cannot continue his campaign "full speed ahead."

The prognosis is very good and Rice is not expected to experience any long-term ill effects, said Nelson. The treatment could be as "simple as taking a baby aspirin every day."

Rice was taken to Abbott Northwestern after being treated at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar on Thursday when it became apparent he was experiencing some kind of medical incident while participating in a candidate forum sponsored by the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

Rice and Gimse, as well as candidates for the House District 13B seat, were responding to questions during the candidate forum.

During that exchange, Rice repeatedly lost his train of thought and was unable to complete sentences, said Chamber President Ken Warner.

Many of the 45 chamber members in the audience thought Rice was experiencing "stage fright," said Warner, who described the situation as "uncomfortable."

He said Rice approached him after the event, apologized for his performance and said he wasn't feeling well and had considered not attending the forum.

He gave Rice credit for trying to tough it out even though he was ill and gave credit to the audience for being "Minnesota Nice." Warner said people did not realize at the time that Rice was experiencing a mild brain hemorrhage.

The participants at Thursday's chamber event were sent e-mails explaining the situation, Warner said.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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