Graham postpones candidacy for heart surgery

U.S. Sen. Bob Graham’s presidential plans are on hold, at least for awhile.

The 66-year-old Florida Democrat announced Thursday that he will undergo heart surgery during the first week of February.

According to a press statement from his office, Graham’s surgery will repair a damaged heart valve. The procedure is called an aortic valve replacement and was suggested by doctors after tests conducted at the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland Tuesday.

According to the release, doctors said Graham should have a full recovery in a month to six weeks. Graham said he initiated the doctor’s visit while deciding if he will run for president.

His decision on his candidacy was expected to come at any time. But now it is reported that Graham will wait until after his recovery to make a decision. The timing of the surgery will mean that Graham will miss a limited amount of work as senator.

Graham, who has served as Florida’s governor, is in his third term as senator. He has disagreed with many of President George W. Bush’s policies, but he may have a hard time winning a Democratic presidential race full of big-name candidates.