Minnesota governor makes light of fainting spell, says he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer

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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who collapsed while delivering his state-of-the-state address to legislators in St. Paul, announced on Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper reported.

Dayton, 69, told reporters at a press conference that his outlook was good and that he planned to finish his term as governor, which ends in 2018, the Star-Tribune said.

"People deserve a governor who is on the job, qualified to perform the job intellectually and physically, and I believe I am," Dayton said, according to the newspaper.

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton
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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton speaks on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 28, 2016.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton walks through the crowd outside the Governor's residence as people gather to protest the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by Minneapolis area police during a traffic stop on Wednesday, in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S., July 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Adam Bettcher)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (R) hands a pen to Secretary of State of Minnesota Mark Ritchie (L) after he signs the last of bills to eliminate the state's $5 billion budget deficit and reopen state government and services that have been shut down for three weeks, in St. Paul, July 20, 2011. Dayton's signature came just hours after lawmakers gave their own approval to the deal after meeting in a special session that started Tuesday afternoon and lasted until early Wednesday morning.

(REUTERS/Eric Miller)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton speaks to media after signing bills to eliminate the state's $5 billion budget deficit and reopen state government and services that have been shut down for three weeks, in St. Paul, July 20, 2011. Dayton's signature came just hours after lawmakers gave their own approval to the deal after meeting in a special session that started Tuesday afternoon and lasted until early Wednesday morning.

(REUTERS/Eric Miller

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton prepares to sign a stack of bills to eliminate the state's $5 billion budget deficit and reopen state government and services that have been shut down for three weeks, in St. Paul, July 20, 2011. Dayton's signature came just hours after lawmakers gave their own approval to the deal after meeting in a special session that started Tuesday afternoon and lasted until early Wednesday morning.

(REUTERS/Eric Miller)

Press secretary Katharine Tinucci (R) hands Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (L) a bills to sign that will eliminate the state's $5 billion budget deficit and reopen state government and services that have been shut down for three weeks, in St. Paul, July 20, 2011. Dayton's signature came just hours after lawmakers gave their own approval to the deal after meeting in a special session that started Tuesday afternoon and lasted until early Wednesday morning.

(REUTERS/Eric Miller)

U.S. President Barack Obama is greeted by gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton as he arrives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to attend a campaign rally October 23, 2010. Obama is on a four-day, five-state swing to support Democrats in the upcoming election.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (C) signs bills to eliminate the state's $5 billion budget deficit and reopen state government and services that have been shut down for three weeks, in St. Paul, July 20, 2011. Dayton's signature came just hours after lawmakers gave their own approval to the deal after meeting in a special session that started Tuesday afternoon and lasted until early Wednesday morning.

(REUTERS/Eric Miller)

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton speaks at a media briefing on the Philando Castile police shooting on July 8, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dayton spoke about the killing of Philando Castile and of the shootings in Dallas last night.

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton, listens to speakers outside the Governor's Mansion following the police shooting death of a black man on July 7, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Philando Castile was shot and killed last night, July 6, 2016, by a police officer in Falcon Heights, MN.

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Mark Dayton, governor of Minnesota, waves while arriving on stage during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Division among Democrats has been overcome through speeches from two presidents, another first lady and a vice-president, who raised the stakes for their candidate by warning that her opponent posed an unprecedented threat to American diplomacy.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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A press deputy for Dayton could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters on Tuesday.

A video clip from official statehouse footage posted on YouTube on Monday showed the silver-haired governor, who turns 70 on Thursday, slurring his words during his speech before slumping at the lectern.

Dayton appeared to hit his forehead on the lectern as he lost his footing and aides rushed to grab him. Gasps rose from the assembly hall and someone was heard saying, "Get him to the ground, get him to the ground, please."

Lawmakers immediately adjourned the session while Dayton, a member of the Democratic-affiliated Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, was attended to.

Dayton was briefly hospitalized about a year ago after fainting while speaking during an event in the St. Paul suburb of Woodbury. Aides said then that he was treated for dehydration before being released.

Dayton served six years at a U.S. senator from Minnesota before he was elected to his first term as governor in 2010.


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