Gov. Dayton remains at Mayo Clinic

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has been at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for the last month recovering from back surgery.

Dayton first had surgery on Oct. 12 and underwent another procedure on Oct, 15. After the second surgery, a spokesman said the operations were successful, and the governor was expected to stay in the hospital for several days.

But a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that Dayton is still at Mayo and continuing physical therapy at the discretion of his doctors. There is no set discharge date yet.

Dayton, who releases his daily schedule to reporters, last appeared in public on Oct. 9. Oct. 11 was his last scheduled event, which was closed to the public.

It’s the governor’s third back surgery in recent years. He had similar operations in 2012 and 2015 to help with ongoing leg strength and balance issues. Dayton, 71, is often seen at public appearances with a cane to help keep his balance. The previous operations fused vertebrae in his lower back.

The two-term governor has had several health scares. In 2016 he fainted during his State of the State address, and the following day he announced he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He has since undergone treatment and been declared cancer free.

On top of the back surgeries, he also underwent a procedure to help repair a torn hip muscle.

Dayton did not seek re-election and is retiring from politics when his term ends in January. DFLer Tim Walz will take over from Dayton.

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