Jason Kander drops out of Kansas City mayor race, cites mental health
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Jason Kander drops out of Kansas City mayor race, cites mental health

Rising Democratic star, who is Jewish, says he continues to feel impact of PTSD from his time in the military

Jason Kander, shown in July 2017, is one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images via JTA)
Jason Kander, shown in July 2017, is one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images via JTA)

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Jason Kander, a rising star in Democratic politics who narrowly lost a 2016 Senate bid, said he was dropping out of the race for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, citing post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his time in the US military.

Kander, who is Jewish, announced his decision Tuesday.

The former Army intelligence officer said in a statement that he continues to feel the impact of PTSD, 11 years after leaving the military, where he fought in Afghanistan.

“I can’t work on myself and run a campaign the way I want to at the same time, so I’m choosing to work on my depression,” Kander, 37, wrote in a personal note.

Kander said he contacted the Veterans Administration for help about four months ago but his condition worsened.

He said he recently called a VA crisis line to say he has had suicidal thoughts.

Kander was seen as a likely favorite in the 2019 mayoral race, and was thought to have presidential aspirations.

The former Missouri secretary of state was defeated by incumbent Republican Roy Blunt in Missouri’s 2016 Senate race.

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