Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, addresses the House after the swearing-in ceremony for new lawmakers, Wednesday, Dec., 5, 2018, at the State House in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — A doctor said Rep. John Martin, the longest-serving state lawmaker in Maine history, was “doing well” on Monday after suffering a medical event during his commute back to Aroostook County last week and undergoing neurological surgery in Bangor.

Martin, a 79-year-old Democrat from Eagle Lake best known for his unremitting tenure as House speaker from 1974 to 1993, has been a force in state politics for nearly 60 years. He continues to hold a key role on the Legislature’s budget committee and is often called upon during floor sessions for his unparalleled knowledge of legislative rules and policy history.

Legislative staff released scant information on Martin’s condition over the weekend, saying that he was being treated after a “medical emergency.” They elaborated more in a Monday statement, saying he experienced a medical episode last week while driving home from Augusta.

He was treated at Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln before going to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for a neurosurgical procedure. A doctor there said he is “doing well after successful surgery” and is “in good spirits and making excellent progress.”

“I’m doing well and appreciate the well wishes from friends, colleagues, and family,” Martin said.

House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, spoke to Martin on Monday and said he got “the diligent updates you’d expect” him. Martin is serving his 22nd term in the House, which he was first elected to as a 23-year-old in 1964. He also served four Senate terms.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...