On Monday, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), who represents Virginia's competitive 10th District, announced that she would be seeking reelection in 2024 after a deadly diagnosis.
The Virginia Democrat was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease earlier in the year and had hoped that her condition would not progress and thus allow her to run in the upcoming election. That, however, has not occurred.
"When I shared with the world my diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease a few months ago, I knew that the road ahead would have its challenges, and I've worked hard to navigate those challenges through consistent treatments and therapies," Wexton said in a statement. "But I wasn't making the progress to manage my symptoms that I had hoped, and I noticed the women in my Parkinson's support group weren't having the same experience that I was."
"I sought out additional medical opinions and testing, and my doctors modified my diagnosis to Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy - a kind of 'Parkinson's on steroids,'" the lawmaker explained.
"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," she said. "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."
Wexton went on to explain that she's "heartbroken" to give up her office given that she was able to give back to her community so much after being elected in 2018.
"When I made the decision to run for Congress, this was clearly not the way I anticipated it coming to a close - but then again, pretty much nothing about my time serving here has quite been typical or as expected," she explained. "I will forever cherish the people from our communities and all around the country I've come to know, the challenges we've faced together, and the ways both big and small that my team and I have made a difference in the lives of our neighbors."
Wexton concluded her statement by thanking her constituents for allowing her to serve them and work towards a better future for "our children."
The Democrat has represented Virginia's 10th District since 2019 and was narrowly reelected in 2022 after she defeated US Navy veteran Hung Cao with 52.9 percent of the vote to his 47.1 percent. With her decision to not seek reelection, there will likely be a competitive primary race on the Democratic side that will lead to a competitive general election.
Wexton's diagnosis is tragic and every American should pray for her in this dire moment.
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