Gordon prepares for tumor removal

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Veteran state Sen. Jack Gordon, D-Okolona, said Thursday he is not looking forward to this morning’s surgery to remove a tumor on his brain, but “it is good to find out you have so many friends.”
Gordon is scheduled to undergo surgery this morning at University Medical Center in Jackson to remove the tumor on the right frontal lobe of his brain.
Thursday afternoon, the senator, known for his ability to recall precise numbers in the state budget, was working in the Capitol.
“I appreciate all the prayers and concerns,” said Gordon, 65, who is in the midst of his sixth term in the state Senate after serving two in the House. “It is gratifying.”
Gordon first became ill in March when driving from Starkville to Columbus after a Mississippi State basketball game. He became disoriented and ran off the road. He was taken from Columbus to UMC in Jackson and was listed in critical condition.
But a little more than a week later, Gordon was back at work at the Capitol during the legislative session, and actually had made two trips to the Legislature while still admitted to the hospital.
After the March incident, Gordon said doctors believed he had suffered a stroke or had a tumor, but they could not locate the tumor. He delayed additional medical exams in June because of prior commitments, but the tumor was discovered recently when he finally consented to the tests.
It is not known whether the tumor is cancerous, but Gordon said doctors believe it can be removed. Additional treatments might be needed even after the removal.
“Jack is very positive,” said Sen. Terry Burton, R-Newton.
Gordon is the former chair of the influential Appropriations Committee. He currently serves as chair of the Public Property Committee.
He chaired Appropriations from 1988 to 1992, when he was defeated. He won re-election in 1996 and assumed the chairmanship of Appropriations late in that term. He then served two full terms as the Senate’s lead appropriator.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant named Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, to replace Gordon as Appropriations chair in 2008, but he still is considered one of the most knowledgeable members on budget issues.

Contact Bobby Harrison at (601) 353-3119 or bobby.harrison@djournal.com.