A longtime member of the state House of Representatives who for a time served the eastern end of Somerset County and continues to serve much of Bedford County, has been hospitalized.
The Tribune-Democrat has learned that Dick Hess, R-Bedford, is in a Pittsburgh hospital where
he is being treated for an undisclosed illness.
Word from a number of people who asked not to be identified was that Hess suffered a stroke.
Calls to Hess’s Bedford office were answered by voicemail and not returned.
His Harrisburg office referred questions to the office of the House Majority Leader Michael Turzai, R-Allegheny. Stephen Miskin, Turzai’s press secretary, did not return calls seeking comment.
The illness first came to light Tuesday when Bedford County Commissioner Paul Crooks included Hess’s name in prayer as part of the board meeting.
The commissioners could provide no additional information.
State Rep. Carl Metzger, R-Berlin, who represents portions of western Bedford County, said Wednesday he was unaware of Hess’s condition.
Hess, 74, was first elected to the Legislature in 1986 and is now in his 14th term in the House.
Along with much of Bedford County, he represents all of Fulton County and a small part of Huntingdon County.
He is chairman of the House Transportation Committee and is the senior member of the House Judiciary Committee.
A native of the Saxton area, Hess served for 15 years as Bedford County prothonotary and clerk of courts, according to the biography posted on his webite.
He has had few challenges in his more than dozen bids for re-election.
Kathy Mellott covers Bedford County for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/kathymellotttd.