BISMARCK - A North Dakota lawmaker who is running for the United States Senate is unlikely to make it to Bismarck this week for the state Legislature’s special session due to medical issues, a spokesman said Tuesday.
State Rep. Eliot Glassheim, D-Grand Forks, came down with an infection Thursday evening and went to Altru Hospital “to be safe,” his campaign spokesman Daniel Tick said. While Tick said it’s not a “serious ailment,” Glassheim is taking antibiotics and should be back to 100 percent in a few days.
Tick said “it doesn’t look like” Glassheim will be able to attend the three-day special session that started Tuesday.
Glassheim was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2014, and he missed some time during the last legislative session due to medical issues. In January, he announced intentions to retire from the Legislature.
But Glassheim told the Herald he’s gotten more energized in recent months, and his doctor told him they couldn’t detect any cancer. Tick said Glassheim’s cancer has not returned.
Glassheim is challenging U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., in November’s election. His campaign did release a statement Tuesday morning calling on Hoeven to withdraw his support for the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple called this week’s special session to deal with North Dakota’s budget shortfall.
Glassheim wasn’t the only lawmaker absent from the Capitol Tuesday. Rep. Rick Holman, D-Mayville, was on a previously planned trip to Norway Tuesday morning and will be unable to make it back for the special session, he said by phone.
“I reported into everybody that mattered, including the Republicans,” he said. “They know why I’m not there.”
Rob Port of SayAnythingBlog.com reported three other lawmakers were absent from Tuesday morning’s roll call vote: Republican Sen. Lonnie Laffen of Grand Forks, Republican Rep. Bob Skarphol of Tioga and Democratic Rep. Kris Wallman of Fargo. Laffen told Port he is on vacation and his plans could not be changed on short notice, and Skarphol told him he was a addressing a family issue out of the state.
Wallman did not return messages from the Herald seeking comment.