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Jay Dardenne hospitalized following chest pains this weekend

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BATON ROUGE - The state's budget czar was hospitalized with chest pains this weekend, WBRZ learned Monday.

Jay Dardenne, the Commissioner of Administration, said in a statement he was taken to the hospital Saturday. Doctors found he had blockages.

Dardenne said when he woke up Saturday, he felt pressure in his chest. His wife brought him to a Baton Rouge hospital.

"I’ve been treated and remain alert and very thankful," Dardenne said in a statement through his government spokesperson. "I am heeding my doctors’ advice regarding rest but look forward to returning to work as soon as I’m cleared," Dardenne added.

Dardenne, 62, is a republican but works as Governor John Bel Edwards' top budget advisor. Dardenne ran against Edwards, a democrat, in the primary election for governor last year. After failing to make a runoff, Dardenne endorsed Edwards over fellow republican David Vitter. Vitter's loss also cost him his job as a U.S. Senator. Upon giving up after votes showed Edwards was going to win, Vitter revealed he'd be leaving public office at the end of his term. Vitter will be replaced in the Senate when voters elect a new senator in November.

Dardenne is from Baton Rouge and attended LSU. He is also a lawyer.

Dardenne had to work with colleagues at the Capitol this year to fill a $1 billion budget hole.  Experts predict a budget deficit in the coming year, again. 

It's not clear how long Dardenne will be recovering.

Dardenne was released from the hospital Monday. The Governor's Office released this statement Thursday:

Commissioner Dardenne was released from Our Lady of the Lake hospital Monday morning following a successful heart catheterization procedure over the weekend. He is resting at home and expects to be able to return to the office in two weeks, although he is cleared to work from home in the meantime. He remains in constant touch with his executive staff. He appreciates the support from his friends, family, employees and Governor Edwards, and is thankful for the capability and professionalism of the staff at Our Lady of the Lake.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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