Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on Monday he is an alcoholic, and in order to focus on his recovery, he will not run for re-election.
Garrett, 46, is a former state senator and Army veteran, and he won in 2016 by 16 percentage points. Last week, Politico interviewed former staffers who said Garrett and his wife, Flanna, ordered them to do personal errands for the couple, like walk their dog and bring in their groceries, which is against House ethics rules. After his chief of staff resigned last week, Garrett, now serving his first term, said he was definitely going to run again in November.
"Sometimes winning means knowing where your priorities should be," Garrett said on Monday. "My devotion to the ideals and beliefs in America has not wavered, but my commitment to be the best husband, father, and friend means addressing the only truth I've been heretofore unwilling to tell." Garrett added that he's not "dying. I am starting anew with work and dedication. Great things can be done. This isn't an ending for me or my values of service to my fellow man. It's just a new beginning."