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Combat veteran suspends congressional campaign after a heroin overdose: ‘I’m not going to hide from this’

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'The only thing I can do is face this head on in complete humility'

Screenshot: Chris Taylor for Congress/YouTube

A Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives announced this week the suspension of his 2020 campaign following a heroin overdose and said that he will seek treatment for substance abuse.

"Today, I have suspended my campaign for the US House of Representatives and am seeking treatment for substance abuse disorder," now-former Arizona congressional candidate Chris Taylor said in a social media post on Monday. "I will fully cooperate with local authorities on any matters arising from my recent relapse and overdose. Please respect the privacy of my wife and children as we deal with this situation."

Taylor went on to express confusion at how he relapsed, saying that he had been sober for a long time previously.

"I'm not going to hide from this. I'm not ashamed of what happened," Taylor wrote. "I wish to sincerely apologize to the amazing people who have supported me. I don't know what went wrong. I recently relapsed after having so many solid years in sobriety. I have to figure out where I went wrong."

The Arizona Republic reported that Taylor overdosed on heroin last week. A family member found him unresponsive at his home. The Gila Herald reported that paramedics revived him at the scene using a dose of Narcan — a drug used to rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.

The Republic also said that Taylor had struggled with opioid addiction since high school.

Taylor — a 33-year-old Army combat veteran and Safford, Arizona, city councilman — was one of a group of Republicans seeking the GOP nomination in the election for the Grand Canyon State's 1st Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Arizona Democrat Tom O'Halleran, who is serving his second House term.

In his Monday statement, Taylor also expressed optimism about the support he expects to receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs, his family, and his community in taking his next steps in the process of recovery.

"The only thing I can do is face this head on in complete humility and put one foot in front of the other so that I can get the help needed to be the father and husband that my family deserves," the statement concluded. "I'm human and I have never pretended to be anything but. I know that through the Grace of my loving savior Jesus Christ I will be restored to full health and bounce back from this and be stronger than ever."

In a campaign video posted in August, the candidate also recounted the difficulties of dealing with opioid addition as a result of abusing prescriptions when he came back from serving in Afghanistan.

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