After receiving a diagnosis of atypical Parkinsonism, Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., decided Monday that she would not run for reelection to the House but instead serve out the remainder of her term. After “receiving treatment and regular medical evaluations for Parkinson’s Disease over the course of the past several months, she has received a modified diagnosis of Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy, type-p (PSP-P), a form of Atypical Parkinsonism,” according to a statement released by her office on Monday. It was described by Wexton as “a kind of Parkinson’s on steroids.”Wexton added in the statement, “I’m heartbroken to have to leave something I have enjoyed after so many years of serving my community.
But I have decided not to run for re-election after my term is done in order to spend my valuable time with Andrew, our boys, and my friends and loved ones, taking into account the prognosis for my health over the future years. Wexton claimed earlier this year that the condition had mostly impacted her voice and tongue movement, making her talk more fast.”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 stated. “With PSP, there is no ‘getting better’. Although they don’t work as effectively for my disease as they do for Parkinson’s, I’ll keep using my therapy alternatives to control my symptoms.
Due to Wexton’s retirement, a competitive seat in northern Virginia becomes available; the district comprises affluent exurbs and suburbs outside of Washington, D.C. However, the area has recently tended to vote more Democratic, and after redistricting in 2022, Wexton defeated Hung Cao, a Republican, by a margin of 6.5 percentage points.In one of the most costly and highly watched campaigns of the midterm elections, Wexton, a former state lawmaker, upset incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., propelling herself onto the national scene. As Americans turned against then-President Donald Trump, House Democrats were swept back into power. Wexton said in her statement on Monday that she had been feeling the effects of her sickness and that it was getting more difficult for her to control her symptoms.As a member of the Appropriations and Budget committees, Wexton worked to advance gun-reform legislation, stop human rights abuses in China, and support the middle class. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, complimented Wexton for these initiatives.