COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ A gubernatorial candidate who had been staging a hunger strike while living in a tent on the Statehouse lawn collapsed Saturday, his 27th day without food.

Billy Inmon collapsed while trying to stand up. Two troopers assigned to the Statehouse lawn administered first aid and called an ambulance.

Inmon, 47, was in stable condition and was being given intravenous fluids for possible dehydration, said Beverly Heffken, a nursing supervisor at Grant Medical Center.

He was admitted overnight and also was being treated for problems with his blood pressure and heart rate, which are associated with dehydration, she said.

Inmon an independent, had been on a water-only diet outside the Statehouse since Aug. 1 to protest Gov. George Voinovich's refusal to debate him. The Republican governor calls Inmon a disgruntled former state employee.

Voinovich fired Inmon as manager of the Ohio State Fair after the 1992 event, where Inmon caused a political flap by trying to ban gay-rights groups from distributing pamphlets.

''Our hearts and prayers go out to the family,'' said Caryn Candisky, Voinovich's campaign spokeswoman. She would not say whether Voinovich had changed his mind about debating Inmon.

Voinovich has agreed to debate his Democratic opponent, Rob Burch.

Sgt. John Born, a spokesman for the state Highway Patrol, said that Inmon's tent had been taken away by his family.

Inmon lost 34 pounds during his fast, said his wife, Kathy Inmon.