NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was hospitalized in Baton Rouge after becoming unresponsive Tuesday morning and was expected to stay in the hospital overnight, his daughter said.
Anna Edwards said doctors believe dehydration led to a drop in the 92-year-old, four-term governor’s blood sugar. The dehydration may have been caused by food poisoning, she said. She added that he appeared to be recovering well.
“He is awake, talking, laughing, joking,” she said in a telephone interview. She said she expected him to be released as early as Wednesday.
Edwards, a Democrat, dominated Louisiana politics for much of the late 20th century. He served as governor from 1972 to 1980, 1984 to 1988 and 1992 to 1996.
He went to prison following a May 2000 conviction for racketeering involving riverboat casino licenses, but always proclaimed his innocence. He was released in 2011 and, at age 83, married his third wife, Trina Grimes, then 32, who had visited him in prison after they struck up a pen pal relationship. They had a son in 2013.
Edwards has enjoyed renewed popularity over the years, displaying his characteristic wit at public appearances. His one try at a political comeback came up short, however. He earned a runoff spot in a south Louisiana congressional race in 2014, only to lose to Republican Garret Graves.
He attended former Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s funeral last month and spoke at a ceremony marking the retirement of his longtime legislative ally, outgoing Senate President John Alario, earlier this year.