FALLS CHURCH, Va. — U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat, announced Monday she won’t seek reelection in her competitive district in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington after learning she has a severe form of Parkinson’s disease.
Wexton announced in April that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and that she planned to continue her work in Congress. On Monday, she said she received a modified diagnosis of progressive supra-nuclear palsy, which she described as “a kind of ‘Parkinson’s on steroids.”
“I want to be honest with you now – this new diagnosis is a tough one,” Wexton said in her statement, “There is no ‘getting better’ with PSP. I’ll continue treatment options to manage my symptoms, but they don’t work as well.”
Wexton said she received the new diagnosis after feeling like she wasn’t responding well to treatment and noticing that the women in her Parkinson’s support group were having a different experience.
She plans to continue serving the rest of her term, which runs through 2024.
“I’m heartbroken to have to give up something I have loved after so many years of serving my community,” she said.
An open seat in the district — which became slightly more conservative in the last redistricting