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Former Rep. Luis Gutierrez hospitalized with ‘extremely high blood pressure’

Former Rep. Luis Gutierrez was hospitalized in Chicago Wednesday night with “extremely high blood pressure and hypertension,” according to a statement from his wife. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Rep. Luis Gutierrez was hospitalized in Chicago Wednesday night with “extremely high blood pressure and hypertension,” according to a statement from his wife.

“He is under the excellent medical care of doctors who are monitoring the situation closely,” Soraida Gutierrez said in the statement released late Thursday.

“He would like to thank all those who have reached out in concern, and looks forward to being back home with his family and community very soon.”

Representatives for Gutierrez declined to release more details.

Gutierrez, 65, rose from being an activist and alderman to become Illinois’ first Latino representative in 1993, before announcing in November 2017 that he wouldn’t seek re-election for his longtime 4th Congressional District seat.

The Humboldt Park Democrat garnered a national reputation as an advocate for immigration and was a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, whom he slammed continually for his response to the hurricanes that ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017.

Gutierrez briefly flirted with a run for Chicago mayor and was held up as a possible 2020 presidential candidate, but later said he wouldn’t seek either office, instead helping his daughter Jessica Gutierrez in her 30th Ward aldermanic campaign against incumbent Ariel Reboyras.

Gutierrez, who said he planned to move to Puerto Rico this year, was succeeded in Congress by former Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.