Virginia Democratic Representative Wexton, Facing Health Challenges, Declines to Run for Reelection

Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., said Monday she will not run for reelection next year after she recently learned that her Parkinson’s disease has worsened, NBC News reported.

Wexton, 55, who flipped a Republican seat in the 2018 midterm elections, revealed in April that she had Parkinson’s. She said Monday that doctors say her condition has severely deteriorated, and that she was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare condition that Wexton described as “Parkinson’s on steroids.”

“I’ve always believed that honesty is the most important value in public service, so I want to be honest with you now — this new diagnosis is a tough one,” Wexton said in a statement. There is no ‘getting better’ with PSP. I’ll continue treatment options to manage my symptoms, but they don’t work as well with my condition as they do for Parkinson’s.

“I have made the decision not to seek reelection once my term is complete and instead spend my valued time with [husband] Andrew, our boys, and my friends and loved ones.”

Wexton said that she has been aware of her new diagnosis since June, and that she went ahead with therapies hoping that she might be able to run again, the Washington Examiner reported.

But Wexton said that “what became clear was that not only would I not be able to handle the rigors of campaigning in a tough district, even if I could, it may have literally killed me.”

She said that she made the only decision possible, but that “I’m heartbroken to have to give up something I have loved after so many years of serving my community,” Politico reported.

Wexton, who during her time in Congress has pushed for bipartisan legislation to expand opioid addiction research, serves on the House Appropriations Committee, according to CBS News.

Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.

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