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Ohio attorney general collapses, under evaluation

CINCINNATI – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine fell ill during a speaking engagement Friday in Cincinnati and was taken to a hospital to be evaluated, his office said.

DeWine, 67, was speaking at a luncheon event at a downtown restaurant near Fountain Square before he was taken by ambulance to The Christ Hospital. DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said Friday afternoon he believes the attorney general is alert.

Neither Tierney nor a hospital spokeswoman released any other details on DeWine’s condition.

DeWine was scheduled to speak Friday evening at a Lincoln Day dinner in Delaware County. Also, the online Support Marriage Equality in Ohio group planned a protest Friday in the Columbus suburb of Dublin against DeWine’s defense of a statewide ban on gay marriage.

One of Ohio’s most publicly visible officials, DeWine has made causes of fighting human trafficking and prescription drug abuse and of cracking down on violent offenders.

A Republican, he is seeking re-election in November.

Cincinnati Democrat David Pepper is challenging him for the office.

DeWine is a former U.S. senator and Ohio lieutenant governor. After losing his Senate seat to Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2006, DeWine ran successfully for attorney general in 2010 against incumbent Democrat Richard Cordray.