Former Vice President Mike Pence was hospitalized on Wednesday for heart surgery, officials say.
Pence’s office said his surgery was to have a pacemaker implanted, and said that Wednesday’s procedure went well and that Pence “is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days.”
Since the 2020 election, Pence has become a polarizing figure among Republican voters.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump accused Pence of not doing enough to support the president while he was contesting the results of the 2020 election. However, Pence remains popular among establishment Republicans.
It is an open secret that Pence is considered a 2024 presidential candidate if Trump declines to run again.
He is expected to deliver his first public speech since leaving office later this month in South Carolina.
According to a March poll released by former Trump campaign insider Tony Fabrizio, Pence leads the field among potential 2024 candidates for the Republican nomination when Trump isn’t included.
The poll claims Pence bests conservative Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-F.L., 19 to 17 percent among likely voters. Besides Pence and DeSantis, only Sen. Ted Cruz, R-T.X., breaks double-digit support at 13 percent.
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The 61-year-old Pence, who recently launched a new advocacy group and signed a book deal, had previously been diagnosed with a heart condition called asymptomatic left bundle branch block.
Pence’s office said that over the past two weeks, he experienced symptoms associated with a slow heart rate and was hospitalized in Virginia. The pacemaker procedure was done in response and the former vice president is currently recovering.
The former vice president’s heart condition isn’t the first health concern to pop-up over the past year. During the vice presidential debate against then-Calif. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Pence had an apparent blood vessel burst in his left eye.
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