Congressional Candidate Speaks After Overdose

No shame for Chris Taylor, who suspends bid to seek treatment
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2020 11:34 AM CST

A Republican vying for Congress in Arizona has suspended his bid after overdosing on heroin. "I recently relapsed after having so many solid years in sobriety," Chris Taylor, a Safford city councilman who completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan and has struggled with opioid addiction since high school, said in a Monday statement, per the Arizona Republic. "I have to figure out where I went wrong." Taylor, who spoke about erasing the "negative stigma associated with addiction" during his campaign for the GOP nomination in the hope of challenging Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran in Arizona's 1st Congressional District, added he was seeking treatment and "will fully cooperate with local authorities on any matters arising from my recent relapse and overdose," which occurred Wednesday.

A relative found Taylor unresponsive at his home, where he was revived by paramedics, the Gila Herald reports, adding "items related to intravenous drug use" were found at the Safford Fire Department, where Taylor serves as volunteer. "I'm not ashamed of what happened. … The only thing I can do is face this head on in complete humility," Taylor said. "I have every resource available to me through the Veterans Affairs Administration and I have the strongest support system one could dream of." Safford Mayor Jason Kouts said he would "be there beside Chris in the long-haul recovery." Taylor's campaign had $6,200 in cash at the end of 2019, per the Republic. Lawyer and cotton farmer Tiffany Shedd, backed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, had $112,000. (More overdose stories.)

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