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Second Congressional District Independent candidate Merrill Cook has not had a heart attack, although rumors to that effect have been circulating for several weeks.

Cook continues to campaign for office and for his term limitation/run-off election initiative. He blames the rumor on campaign workers of his GOP opponent Enid Greene Waldholtz, talk show host Mills Crenshaw and Salt Lake County Republican Party officials."I've told these people time and again I have not had a heart attack, I have no such health problems," a frustrated Cook said Monday.

Still, such rumors persist, he said. "I was on Mills' radio show last week, we talked about this, yet even when I left, he and callers were still talking about it as if it (a heart attack) had happened. It never happened!" said Cook.

Cook said that on Aug. 31, as he was finishing a campaign speech, he was struck with gastrointestinal pain. Campaign aides insisted he go to his doctor, who in turn asked Cook to stay overnight at a local hospital where various tests, including tests for heart problems, were conducted.

Cook said all the tests came back negative and he was released the following morning in fine health.

"I would never lie about such a thing. If there were any medical problems that would preclude my service in public office, I would be very straightforward about it with the people," said Cook.