Virginia Rep. Wexton won’t seek reelection, citing new health diagnosis

September 18, 2023

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) announced Monday she will not seek reelection in 2024 after being diagnosed with supranuclear palsy.

Wexton had gone public in April that she was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. In a statement Monday, the 55-year-old referred to her new diagnosis as “a kind of Parkinson’s on steroids.”

“I’ve always believed that honesty is the most important value in public service,” Wexton’s statement went on to say, “so I want to be honest with you now—this new diagnosis is a tough one. There is no ‘getting better’ with PSP. I’ll continue treatment options to manage my symptoms, but they don’t work as well as with my condition as they do for Parkinson’s.”

Wexton was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, defeating Barbara Comstock (R) who’d served Virginia’s 10th District from 2015 until her second term ended in 2019.

A member of the House Appropriations Committee, Wexton has fought for bipartisan legislation to expand opioid addiction research.

Before entering Congress, she spent several decades as a prosecutor and five years as a Virginia state Senator. 

In her statement Monday, Wexton said that she was “heartbroken” about not running for another term, but she’s made the decision to spend time with her husband and their two sons. 

PHOTO: Jennifer Wexton in 2019

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