New Jersey lawmaker recovering from heart surgery ahead of primary

New Jersey lawmaker recovering from heart surgery ahead of primary
© Greg Nash

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellLawmakers urge administration to remove tariffs on European wine and spirits amid coronavirus pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida's coronavirus surge raises questions about GOP convention New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell wins Democratic primary MORE (D-N.J.) is recovering from heart bypass surgery on Sunday, according to a statement released by his office Monday.

Pascrell, 83, went to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson after “experiencing indigestion and heartburn” after he returned to New Jersey from Washington last week, according to the statement. 

During routine evaluations on Saturday, doctors discovered blockages in arteries that were bypassed during a procedure at the hospital the next day. Pascrell’s doctors expect him to make a “complete recovery,” according to the statement. 

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The surgery was done just days ahead of New Jersey’s Tuesday primary elections. 

“I want to let everyone know when I got back to New Jersey from DC last week I wasn’t feeling 100%. During routine tests for indigestion my docs discovered blocked arteries. At their advice I had a procedure to fix the blockages. Not a wknd I was expecting from a little heartburn!” Pascrell tweeted Monday. 

He also thanked the doctors and said he is feeling much better and is “eager to get back at it.” 

“It’ll take a lot more to stop me,” he added. 

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Mark Connolly, the chairman of the department of surgery at the hospital who performed the procedure, said the surgery “should allow the congressman to get back to his active lifestyle.”

“While recovery varies from patient to patient, because of the congressman’s strength and normal heart function, I am confident that he will have a speedy recovery and be back serving the people of New Jersey within days,” Connolly said in a statement shared by Pascrell’s office. 

Pascrell also tested negative for COVID-19, according to the statement.

He is facing two progressive challengers in Tuesday's election, Alp Basaran and Zina Spezakis. 

“Just found out that Rep. Bill Pascrell had heart surgery yesterday. My thoughts are with his family,” Spezakis tweeted Monday. 

Pascrell has represented New Jersey in Congress since 1997. He previously served the state’s 8th District before his home was moved to the newly drawn 9th District, which he has served since 2013.