Longtime Bismarck Republican lawmaker George Keiser has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease but says he will continue his state House term and consider re-election.
"According to Mayo (Clinic), it has no effect whatsoever on my mental capacity and that they don't see any reason why I can't finish this term and even consider running for re-election, possibly," Keiser told The Bismarck Tribune on Wednesday. "For us, it's certainly new information, but we're operating as normal."
Lou Gehrig's disease, the common name for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles. It has no cure.
Keiser, who owns Quality Printing Service in Bismarck, was first elected in 1992. He represents District 47 in the House with Rep. Larry Klemin, R-Bismarck, who is House speaker.
They were re-elected in 2018 to four-year terms.
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"I'm not ruling out re-election," Keiser said. "If Mayo says you may have 10 or 15 years and for a guy that's 73, that's pretty normal."
Keiser, who occasionally uses a cane, has chaired the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee for nine legislative sessions. He also leads the Legislature's interim Health Care Committee.
He said he's "doing fine" and has stayed busy since the 2019 Legislature adjourned in April.
"In fact, I almost have more (legislative) bills right now than I've had in the past," Keiser said of his interim work without going into detail.