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AUSTIN, Texas (AP/KDKA) – A spokesman says former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was in critical condition after undergoing an emergency heart procedure at a hospital in Austin, Texas.

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Ridge spokesman Steve Aaron says the 72-year-old Ridge, Pennsylvania’s Republican governor from 1995 to 2001, was attending the Republican Governors Association conference when he called for help at his hotel about 7 a.m.

The spokesman says Ridge underwent a cardiac catheterization at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas.

Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement:

“Frances and I are praying for Governor Ridge and his whole family, especially Michele and their kids. We know Tom is a fighter and the Ridges should know that all of Pennsylvania is pulling for them as he recovers.”

Aaron says Ridge has been responsive with physicians.

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He was the nation’s first homeland security secretary, serving under President George W. Bush until 2005.

Former Governor Tom Corbett, who has known Ridge for years, had a similar procedure.

“I think anytime you’ve had a heart attack, that’s going to be critical in the very beginning, and they wait a day or two to see how you grow out of it,” he said. “To me, I’m pretty sure they said I was in critical condition the first day, and I felt pretty good. So I hope that is the case with him.”

Corbett said it was “absolutely” a good sign Ridge was talking to his doctors “and he recognized that he was having a problem, and that’s good.”

According to, Dave Ridge, Tom’s brother, has said that the former governor’s status has been upgraded to serious but stable.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)