Rep. Jennifer Wexton bows out of reelection race after devastating Parkinson's diagnosis

09:40 18.09.2023

Virginia Democrat Representative Jennifer Wexton announced on Monday that she would not be seeking re-election after being diagnosed with Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy (PSP), an intensified form of Parkinson's Disease. Wexton, who was initially diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in April, expressed that her doctors had changed her diagnosis to PSP, a neurological disorder that affects eye movements, body movements, walking, and balance. The 54-year-old congresswoman stated that she had been navigating the challenges of her initial diagnosis through consistent treatments and therapies, but noticed that her symptoms were not improving as she had hoped. Additionally, she observed that the women in her Parkinson's support group were not experiencing the same symptoms as her. Seeking additional medical opinions and testing, Wexton's doctors modified her diagnosis to PSP, which she described as "Parkinson's on steroids."

Wexton emphasized that there is no "getting better" with PSP and acknowledged that the treatments she has been using for Parkinson's Disease may not work as effectively for her new diagnosis. Despite her disappointment and heartbreak, Wexton made the decision not to seek re-election once her term is complete, opting instead to spend more time with her family and loved ones. She expressed gratitude for the trust placed in her by the people of Virginia and her commitment to continuing the work that inspired her political career.

Wexton, who first took office in 2019 after defeating Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock, defended her seat in 2022, winning 53% of the vote against Republican candidate Hung Cao. Her retirement opens up a purple district that both Republicans and Democrats will be eyeing.

Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy significantly affects Wexton's eye movements, body movements, walking, and balance. The modified diagnosis has more immediate implications than Parkinson's Disease, necessitating continued treatment options to manage her symptoms. Despite the challenges ahead, Wexton maintains a positive attitude and the support of her family, friends, and loved ones.

Before entering Congress, Wexton had a diverse professional background as a prosecutor, attorney, and state senator. She was elected to Congress in 2018 during the Democratic Party's takeover of the House under former President Donald Trump's administration. Wexton serves on the House Appropriations Committee and has been actively involved in bipartisan efforts to expand opioid addiction research.

The retirement of Jennifer Wexton will undoubtedly draw attention from both Republicans and Democrats as they vie for control of the purple district she currently represents.

/ Monday, September 18, 2023, 9:40 AM /

themes:  Donald Trump  Virginia

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