- Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) announced on Monday that she will not run for re-election in 2024, citing her declining health following a Parkinson's diagnosis in April.1
- As her diagnosis developed from Parkinson's to Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy (PSP), Wexton said she was 'heartbroken' that she wouldn't be able to serve her community once her term was complete.2
- The 54-year-old congresswoman added that she has 'always believed that honesty is the most important value in public service,' also saying that 'the new diagnosis is a tough one.'3
- Acknowledging that 'there's no getting better with PSP,' Wexton reaffirmed her efforts to combat misconceptions that Parkinson's disease only affects older people.4
- Wexton — who won re-election in last year's midterms — was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2018 after she defeated Rep. Barbara Comstock, ending 40 years of Republican control of the district.5
- Narrative A, as provided by National review. This is indeed tragic news. Representative Wexton has run spirited re-election campaigns against the GOP since 2018 and both sides of the aisle wish her the very best in the battle with this horrific disease. Looking forward, her absence in 2024 will ultimately translate to a competitive race, with politicians from the Democratic and Republican parties looking to win the opportunity to serve those in Wexton's district with the same commitment and conviction the representative has shown throughout her long career.
- Narrative B, as provided by New York Times. Although the GOP and Democrats can unite in recognizing the service and dignity of individuals like Wexton, there is very little else they can agree on. The dramatic rise is partisan animosity in the US in recent years has undermined American democracy, stifling dialogue and legislative progress. Wexton's service to those she represented should be recognized, though it should also be highlighted that her career is not indicative of the current festering gridlock that characterizes US politics.