A general expression of concern about the recent hospitalization of Senator Ralph Okerlund (Republican–Monroe) was made at the Central Utah Leadership Summit, an annual gathering of elected officials and economic development experts in rural Utah.
Public announcements by both Byron Woodland, Board Chair of the Six County Association of Governments and Juab County commissioner, as well as Representative Carl Albrecht (Republican – Richfield) called for prayer and concern about Okerlund who served as a Sevier County commissioner before going to the state senate in 2009.
Okerlund had been hospitalized during the 60th legislative session in 2015 when he fell ill at the State Capitol. At the time he later reported to Utah Political Capitol that his recovery was complete. Utah Political Capitol had done a stand-up interview with the Senator at the capitol’s Hall of Governors as recently as March 9 where the Senator discussed SB 267 – Utah Rural Jobs Act, which provided stimulus funds for jobs in rural Utah.
Albrecht described Okerlund’s condition as cardio-related and Okerlund’s wife, Cindy, said that “The doctors are very pleased with his progress. We have a long road ahead but his doctors are encouraged with how well he’s doing.” She stated the Senator is up and about under doctor’s supervision and that he’s expected to be out of the ICU by Monday.
Utah Political Capitol will update this story as more information is received.