Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Claire McCaskill's mother's name. She is Betty Anne McCaskill.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., on Tuesday canceled campaign events this week because her mother, mother Betty Anne McCaskill, 84, is critically ill and in intensive care unit of a St. Louis hospital, a McCaskill spokeswoman said.
Betty Anne McCaskill was the first female city councilor in Columbia, Mo., and once ran unsuccessfully for the state House. She campaigned often with Claire McCaskill, including during her successful 2006 Senate run, and was often described as feisty backer of her daughter. The senator described her mother as physically unable to join her on the trail this year, but the senior Mrs. McCaskill at times featured in the senator's stump speech.
In late August, McCaskill, who lost 50 pounds last year, told supporters that her mother had complained about "about the fat and ugly pictures" of her daughter in attack ad run by Karl Rove's American Crossroads. "She wanted Karl Rove's phone number," McCaskill said. "And I said 'Mom, you can't call Karl Rove.'"
McCaskill spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki said McCaskill and her siblings plan to be with their mother around-the-clock at the hospital and requested prayers and privacy, according to the Associated Press. McCaskill, seeking a second Senate term, is running against Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.
This article has been updated to reflect that Betty Anne McCaskill once ran for the state House.