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.
Jason Kander says he's dropping out of Kansas City mayoral race to focus on PTSD treatment:
"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." pic.twitter.com/XjA1wOVkSM
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) October 2, 2018
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.