By Staff and wire reports
JACKSON — Mississippi state Sen. Jack Gordon, a longtime lawmaker who chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee for years, was hospitalized and his condition has been upgraded to serious according to a spokesman at University Medical Center, NEMS Daily Journal Capitol Bureau Chief Bobby Harrison reports.
Gordon reportedly also was alert and talking to people in his room, Harrison reports.
Gordon was originally in critical condition Sunday with an undisclosed ailment, officials said.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant said after visiting Gordon Sunday, he was encouraged with the senator’s progress.
“Jack Gordon is a fighter and I am sure he will whip this in short order and be back on his feet on no time,” said Lt. Governor Phil Bryant. “Deborah and I are praying for a speedy recovery and his return to the Senate.”
State Sen. Doug Davis, Gordon’s friend and colleague at the Mississippi Capitol, told The Associated Press that Gordon was taken early Sunday to UMC.
Davis, who was at the hospital with Gordon’s family, said doctors were running tests to determine what’s wrong with the 66-year-old Democrat from Okolona.
“He’s receiving the best medical care there is in Mississippi,” said Davis, R-Hernando.
When asked if Gordon had lost consciousness, Davis said he wasn’t comfortable being more specific about Gordon’s condition until test results came back and Gordon’s family had a chance to discuss them with physicians.
“He needs our thoughts and prayers,” Davis said.
Gordon, a successful businessman, is currently chairman of the Public Property Committee and serves on several others, including the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Gordon headed the Appropriations Committee from 1988-92, and later served as chairman for eight more years before being replaced in 2008 by a Republican when GOP member Bryant took office. In Mississippi, the lieutenant governor presides over the Senate and makes committee appointments.
Gordon has spent a total of 26 years in the Senate after first serving in the state House of Representatives for eight years. His district includes parts of Calhoun, Chickasaw, Grenada and Lee counties.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.