- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas U.S. Sen. John Boozman had unscheduled heart surgery Tuesday at a hospital in the northwestern part of the state, where his office said he was recovering well.

During the night, Boozman, a Republican, had pain in his chest and an arm, which prompted the hospital visit. Doctors performed tests and decided to perform the surgery, according to his Senate office.

Boozman’s office didn’t release what type of heart surgery the senator had.

“Doctors say he responded well to the surgery and are monitoring his recovery,” according to a statement released by Boozman spokesman Patrick Creamer.

The statement also said Boozman’s family had visited him and is hoping for a full recovery. His office didn’t release the name of the hospital.

The state’s junior senator, Boozman had been scheduled for an 8 a.m. appearance in Gravette to discuss a highway bypass project and President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. In the afternoon, he was to have spoken at a rural health center in Green Forest and at a housing agency in Harrison.

Other politicians, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on Tuesday offered wishes for a speedy recovery.

“We’re glad to hear that John is doing well and we all look forward to having him back at work. He is a fantastic Senator and a tireless advocate for Arkansas and the people he so proudly represents,” the statement from McConnell’s office said.

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation, released a statement expressing his concern.

“I’m fortunate to call Senator Boozman a good friend and trusted colleague,” Pryor said. “Today, I lift up his wife, Cathy, his three daughters, and their family and friends in prayer. On behalf of all Arkansans, I’d like to wish Senator Boozman a speedy recovery.”

Republicans in the delegation also sent their good wishes in prepared statements and on Twitter.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican who is running to challenge Pryor, wished a quick recovery for Boozman.

“I am grateful to call Senator Boozman a colleague and a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” Cotton said in a prepared statement.

The statement from Boozman’s office said the family asked for privacy as Boozman recovers and said that his Senate office would provide updates when more information is available.

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