Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) introduced Monday that she would retire on the finish of her present time period after being identified with a uncommon neurological situation.
Wexton, 55, had beforehand shared in April that she was identified with Parkinson’s illness, and stated the situation had already begun affecting her speech and steadiness. However medical doctors now say she has progressive supranuclear palsy, a faster-progressing illness that, like Parkinson’s, has no treatment. She tweeted Monday that her new prognosis means she’ll depart Congress on the finish of her third time period, in early 2025.
“Once I shared with the world my prognosis of Parkinson’s Illness a couple of months in the past, I knew that the highway forward would have its challenges, and I’ve labored exhausting to navigate these challenges by way of constant remedies and therapies,” she wrote. “However I wasn’t making the progress to handle my signs that I had hoped, and I observed the ladies in my Parkinson’s help group weren’t having the identical expertise I used to be.”
“I’m heartbroken to have to surrender one thing I’ve liked after so a few years of serving my group,” she continued. “However considering the prognosis for my well being over the approaching years, I’ve made the choice to not search reelection as soon as my time period is full and as an alternative spend my valued time with Andrew, our boys, and my pals and family members.”
Progressive supranuclear palsy is a uncommon degenerative dysfunction that causes issues with strolling and steadiness, in addition to dementia. Solely about 20,000 People over age 60 have the illness, in response to UCSF Well being. It’s generally mistaken for Parkinson’s in early levels.
Wexton knocked off Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in a aggressive Northern Virginia Home race in 2018, a wave election 12 months marked by backlash to Donald Trump. She went on to comfortably win two extra elections, however her retirement may make the Loudoun County-based seat newly aggressive.
Wexton, an lawyer, is a member of the highly effective Home Appropriations Committee, which oversees authorities spending. However she advised The Washington Put up she’s proudest of legal guidelines she helped cross as a Virginia senator to assist ladies and moms, together with ones that assist victims of revenge porn and safe the proper of girls to breastfeed in public. Wexton made headlines after her 2019 congressional swearing-in for flying a transgender delight flag outdoors her Capitol Hill workplace in honor of her niece.
She was a part of a trio of Democratic moms from Virginia, alongside Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer McClellan, who had just lately joined Congress and had been fierce proponents of gun management.
“Individuals I do know know I’ve struggled for a very long time,” Wexton advised the Put up this weekend. “I’ll have the ability to loosen up and benefit from the time I’ve left and the time I’ve left in Congress.”