Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Steve Grossman sported more than a few irritated expressions during a debate Tuesday — but he wasn’t upset with his opponents, he was actually passing a kidney stone.
Grossman, the state Treasurer and a Democrat, was in severe physical pain for much of the 90-minute debate, according to The Boston Globe, causing him to wince in agony several times throughout the discussion.
Campaign spokeswoman Chandra Allard told The Globe the candidate’s pain level was a “10” on a scale of 1 to 10.
Grossman, nevertheless, appeared for the duration of the debate, hosted by LGBT rights group MassEquality, discussing issues pertinent to the state’s gay community with four other Democratic candidates, three independents and one Republican.
The group of candidates is competing to replace Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, who will step down after his term ends at the end of 2014 due to state term limits.
Grossman reportedly suffers from a chronic kidney stone condition and has dealt with the painful malady for the past 30 years. He awoke at 3:45 a.m. the day of the debate in pain but insisted on participating.
While Grossman hasn’t himself commented publicly on his condition, a parody Twitter account under the handle @Grossmans Stone sprang up shortly after the news emerged.
“I’m grateful that I made it out, but I know some of my fellow stones remain confined. We must #FreeTheStones!’ read one message from the account.
Another read: “There are a lot of rumors out there, so let me just say this. Yes, I am considering a run for Lt. Gov.”