Tom Garrett says he's an alcoholic, will not run for second term

'I am a good man and I am an alcoholic.'


WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Garrett announced Monday that he will not be running for reelection this fall, The Washington Post first reported.

The Post reports that the Republican congressman, who represents Virginia's 5th District, announced on Richmond's Capitol Square that he is struggling with alcoholism and will not seek a second term.

Below is the transcript of the video posted on The Washington Post's website.

"In the history of the United States, 12,244 people have had the honor of serving in Congress. I've done that and I've represented the most historically significant district in our amazing nation. God has showered me opportunities to do good for my district, for my nation and for my fellow man. For this fact, I will be eternally grateful.

I've never stood at a podium nor issued a release or said a single word that I didn't believe to be true.

The recent attacks on my family and myself are a series of half-truths and whole lies. They're driven more by Republicans than Democrats. These attacks aren't true and I can prove that.

I've never been a candidate for office and lost and I won't.

This is because life is about priorities and values and for the most part, I am proud of mine.

But there's one area where I haven't been honest. The tragedy is that any person, Republican, Democrat or Independent, who's known me for any period of time and has any integrity, knows two things: I am a good man and I am an alcoholic.

This is the hardest statement that I have ever publicly made, by far. It's also the truth.

With this in mind, not for fear of losing, or for lack of love for our great nation, today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection.

Sometimes winning means knowing where your priorities should be.

My devotion to the ideals and belief in America has not wavered, but my commitment to be the best husband, father and friend means addressing the only truth I have been heretofore unwilling to tell.

God has blessed America and he's blessed me.

I am 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.

Thank everyone who's helped me every step of the way."

This comes after Garrett announced on Thursday that he would seek reelection.

Leslie Cockburn, a Democrat running for Garrett's seat, released this statement to 10 News Monday night, "This is a very difficult time for Tom Garrett, his family and his staff. It is important that he has recognized his addiction and taken the steps to recover. We wish him well."

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck released this statement Monday afternoon:

"On behalf of Republicans around Virginia and especially in the Fifth District, we thank Tom Garrett for his service. Substance abuse is a serious issue that reaches even to the halls of Congress. Tom has tremendous courage for bringing his own struggle to light. We wish him and his family all the best.

The Fifth District Committee will begin the process of choosing a replacement nominee immediately. Congressman Garrett’s decision not to seek re-election makes it even more imperative that we select the right nominee to defeat the anti-Semitic Democrat nominee, Leslie Cockburn."

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