Former Congressman recovering from stroke

MARIETTA – Former U.S. Congressman and Ohio Representative Charlie Wilson is continuing to recover from a stroke and showing signs of progress, according to local officials.

Wilson, 70, suffered a stroke while vacationing in Florida Feb. 22, according to an article in Steubenville’s The Herald Star.

Wilson was reportedly hospitalized after suffering a brain aneurysm and was put into a medically induced coma for treatment. Since the incident, Wilson’s condition has been improving, according to Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz.

Lorentz said Wilson’s son, Jason, recently updated him on the status of his father.

“In Athens last Thursday I saw Jason at a meeting,” said Lorentz. “He told me that his father was still in Florida under observation, but he was doing much better and they had high hopes of him recovering quickly.”

Wilson, a Democrat, served two terms as a U.S. Representative before being defeated by Republican Bill Johnson in 2010. The two men ran against each other again in 2012, but Wilson lost the election.

Wilson was also a member in the Ohio House of Representatives and the state Senate during his political career.

Lorentz said he is very hopeful that Wilson will fully recover.

“He was always very responsive when working with me. I appreciated his attitude and work ethic,” he said. “When you meet someone that is as helpful as he is, it’s just nice to have them around.”

Molly Varner, chair of the Washington County Democratic Party, said she first heard the news about Wilson about two weeks ago.

“I had received an email informing me of his condition,” she said. “I was completely shocked. He always had an energetic glow to him and had been the picture of good health.”

Varner noted that only a day later she had received another email with news that was more reassuring as to Wilson’s condition.

“Thankfully the second email said that he was doing much better,” she said. “My only wish for him is to have a fast, complete and speedy recovery.”

Varner said the time he dedicated to the state of Ohio was very special.

“He has really been an energy point for the Democratic Party for a really long time,” she said. “His service as a representative, senator and congressman all helped benefit this state and the Democratic Party.”

She added that pending a full recovery Wilson still has much that he could offer the party and Ohio.

“I think Charlie has a tremendous amount of wisdom and experience to offer in any political capacity,” she said. “He has plenty to offer as a campaigner, office holder or stalwart if he feels up to it.”