Former Columbia Mayor Bob Coble is “alert” and undergoing tests at a hospital after being taken out of the Statehouse in a stretcher Wednesday afternoon, according to the lobbying firm where he now works.
State Rep. Kirkman Finlay, R-Columbia, said it appeared the former mayor had suffered a minor heart attack. “It looks like he’s had a heart attack,” Finlay, a former city councilman during Coble’s term in office, said. “He seems to be doing better. He’s awake and alert and, while certainly not without some concern, does not appear to be a grave, grave concern at this point.”
Coble had sought out a doctor on hand at the Statehouse because he “was not feeling well,” according to the Nexsen Pruet firm. An ambulance was called around 2:00 p.m. and Coble was taken to Providence Hospital.
The firm said doctors are performing tests, including a heart catheterization, to check for blockages. Coble was reported as “alert and in good spirits” with family and friends by his side.
During debate on the House floor Wednesday, Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Hartsville, asked lawmakers to honor Coble with a moment of silence.
Coble served as mayor of Columbia from 1990 to 2010. He has spent the past five years as a Statehouse lobbyist with Nexsen Pruet, one of the state’s most prominent and influential firms.