Rutherford Recuperating in Hospital After House Health Scare

Freshman congressman suffering from ‘acute digestive flare up’

Then Rep.-elect John Rutherford talks with the media outside of the Capitol Hill Hotel on the day freshman members checked in for orientation in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1/12/17 at 9 a.m.

Florida Rep. John Rutherford is recuperating at a Washington, D.C. hospital after being carried from the Capitol on a stretcher Wednesday evening during House votes. 

The freshman Republican suffered “significant discomfort” while just outside the floor, Rutherford Chief of Staff Kelly Simpson said in a Thursday morning statement. “After ruling out more serious concerns, testing showed that he is experiencing an acute digestive flare up that is generating the discomfort.” 

Coming off the House floor Wednesday night, Rutherford’s fellow lawmakers said they’d heard Rutherford had suffered a heart attack, but those reports were false.

“In fact, doctors are happy to report that all of his vitals look great,” Simpson said.

Rutherford will “briefly remain in the hospital to treat the inflammation,” Simpson added.

D.C. Fire and EMS responded to the Capitol around 6:30 p.m. for an individual experiencing chest pains, according to a spokesman for the department. The individual was transferred “Priority 2,” which means the condition was serious but non-life threatening, the spokesman said.

Fellow Sunshine State freshman Charlie Crist, a Democrat, said Wednesday night that Rutherford was “fit as a fiddle,” and expressed surprise after hearing the rumors from colleagues that Rutherford had suffered a heart attack.

After a 41-year career in law enforcement, Rutherford was elected in November to succeed former 4th District Rep. Ander Crenshaw.


— Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.


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