Stephen Meade, the dress-wearing Republican candidate for Congress in southern San Diego County, was rushed to the hospital on election day and may undergo open-heart surgery.
Meade, 88, was defeated by incumbent Democrat Rep. Juan Vargas in the heavily Democratic 51st Congressional District that includes Imperial County.
Meade, a World War II veteran, prefers to wear dresses and be called Stephanie, which does not bother his wife of four decades, Marilyn.
In a video message from his bedside at the hospital, Meade said his heart problem was annoying.
"But that's life," he said. "At 88, what the hell could I expect?"