Politics & Government

Richland Democratic Rep. Jimmy Bales has third health scare on SC House floor

S.C. Rep. Jimmy Bales, D-Richland
S.C. Rep. Jimmy Bales, D-Richland

A Richland County lawmaker was taken to the hospital after a health scare on the S.C. House floor Thursday.

It marked the third time state Rep. Jimmy Bales, D-Richland, has had a medical episode on the floor, the latest occurring in February.

Bales first collapsed on the floor exactly one year ago today.

After 11 a.m. Thursday, the House stopped debate on a jobs incentive bill after Bales, 83, experienced a health scare. Bales was treated by medics on the floor, and Richland County EMS wheeled him out of the chamber on a stretcher. Bales was seen awake and leaning upright before he left the State House and headed toward an area hospital.

House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, said he spoke to Bales after the incident and before he was taken away. Bales told Lucas he felt “a little weak,” but the episode “did not appear to be as severe as the episode last month.”

Lucas asked House members to stand in prayer.

Avery G. Wilks is The State’s senior S.C. State House and politics reporter. He was named the 2018 S.C. Journalist of the Year by the South Carolina Press Association. He grew up in Chester, S.C., and graduated from the University of South Carolina’s top-ranked Honors College in 2015.
Maayan Schechter (My-yahn Schek-ter) covers the S.C. State House and politics for The State. She grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and graduated from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. She has previously worked at the Aiken Standard and the Greenville News.