By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson was doing well Wednesday in a Denver hospital where he underwent surgery following a minor stroke, according to his son.
Colin Simpson said his 89-year-old father suffered the stroke Monday and underwent surgery Tuesday at Swedish Medical Center in Denver to remove a clot from his carotid artery.
“So they removed the clot and I talked to him this morning and he’s doing pretty well,” said Colin Simpson, a Cody attorney and former member of Wyoming’s House of Representatives. “They’re still doing additional imaging and tests to figure out what the source of the stroke was and whether there are any other risks.”
Simpson was joined at the hospital by his wife Ann, daughter Susan and brother Pete, a former University of Wyoming official.
Colin Simpson said when he spoke with his father, the former senator asked about the World Series and about getting a ballot for the upcoming general election.
“One thing he wanted yesterday was to ‘Get my ballot,’” Colin said. “So he’s doing pretty well.”
Colin Simpson said his family has heard from many people extending good wishes to his father.
“We all want to express our appreciation to all the people who have called, emailed and texted,” he said. “We want to thank everyone for their prayers and support.”
Simpson, the son of a former Wyoming governor, served in Wyoming’s Legislature before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978. He served three terms, rising to the position of Republican whip in the body.
Although a longtime defender of Republican causes, Simpson was known for his ability to work with Democratic leaders in the Senate to hammer out compromises on contentious issues.
His support of abortion rights and the rights of gays and lesbians has sometimes put him at odds with more conservative members of the Republican Party.
While in Congress, Simpson’s plainspoken manner and homespun wit made him a favorite of reporters, with whom he had a running battle of words. A book published after his time in the Senate, “Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press,” detailed some of his skirmishes with the Wyoming and national media.
Since leaving Congress, Simpson has been involved in a number of issues, including the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, created in 2010 to offer recommendations on how to rein in federal spending.