Senator Critical After Emergency Brain Surgery

Washington (AP) - Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota was in critical condition recovering from emergency brain surgery Thursday, creating political drama over whether his illness could cost Democrats control of the new Senate next month.

Johnson, 59, suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital malformation, the U.S. Capitol physician said. He described the surgery as successful.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he had visited Johnson in the hospital Thursday morning and "he really looks good."

"We're all praying for a full recovery. We're confident that will be the case," Reid told reporters. Asked about whether Democratic control of the Senate might be jeopardized, Reid said, "There isn't a thing that's changed."

Reid refused to comment on Johnson's medical condition, declining to even answer a question on whether the senator was conscious.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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