Mon, Sep 18, 2023 12:08 PM
By Sarah Roderick-Fitch, The Center Square
Virginia Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton said Monday she will not be seeking reelection, citing health concerns.
The third-term Democrat previously announced she was battling Parkinson’s Disease and receiving treatments. After further testing amid unresponsive treatment, Wexton disclosed she had been diagnosed with Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy, type-p. The congresswoman said the disease is characterized as “’Parkinson’s on steroids.’”
Wexton, 55, expressed sadness in her announcement, vowing to spend her “valued time” with her loved ones.
“I’m heartbroken to have to give up something I have loved after so many years of serving my community,” Wexton said in a statement. "But taking into consideration the prognosis for my health over the coming years, I have made the decision not to seek reelection once my term is complete and instead spend my valued time with Andrew, our boys, and my friends and loved ones."
Wexton underscored her commitment to transparency while being candid about the prognosis of her disease.
“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. There is no ‘getting better’ with PSP,” said the congresswoman.
Sen. Tim Kaine weighed in on the announcement, saying Wexton will be missed while praising her commitment to her constituents.
“She is an amazing public servant, listener, and fighter for her constituents. I will miss her terribly in Congress and I’ll be keeping her in my prayers,” the senator posted on social media.
The congresswoman represents Virginia’s 10th congressional district, encompassing a portion of northern Virginia. Her 2018 victory was considered part of the “blue wave,” flipping the district for Democrats for the first time since 1980. Wexton won reelection in 2022, grabbing more than 53% of the vote against Republican challenger Hung Cao.
She previously served in the Virginia state Senate, was a judge and was an assistant commonwealth attorney.
The congresswoman expressed her appreciation for serving the people of her district while vowing to continue to work on their behalf through the remainder of her term.
“I am truly humbled by the trust Virginians have placed in me, and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of our district,” Wexton concluded her statement.