Minnesota Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk was briefly hospitalized Thursday after collapsing at a dinner in northern Minnesota.
Bakk, a longtime DFL legislator from the Iron Range, was in Mountain Iron for an event celebrating the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools when he suffered what he described as a “dizzy spell that was identified to be due to dehydration,” according to an e-mail sent to caucus members and staff. The 65-year-old Democrat from Cook said he visited a hospital in Virginia on his way home and “they confirmed everything was fine.”
“There is no lingering health issue that caused this — just a good reminder to stay hydrated,” he wrote, adding that he is back home and “making sure to drink lots of water.”
Bakk, a retired carpenter and labor leader first elected to the Legislature in 1994, has led Senate Democrats as both minority and majority leader since 2011. He’s facing a leadership challenge from Sen. Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, ahead of the upcoming session.
The leadership battle is expected to split the more conservative outstate lawmakers in the party from their Twin Cities counterparts. Both Bakk and Kent have refrained from speaking publicly about their differences underlying her challenge.