Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, whose district includes most of Tucson, announced in a statement that she will be taking a leave of absence next week to treat her "alcohol dependence." In a statement vague on details, Kirkpatrick said she had a "fall" last week in which alcohol use was the "underlying cause."
Kirkpatrick has been in Congress since 2009. She ran unsuccessfully against former U.S. Senator John McCain in 2016.
Kirkpatrick is up for re-election in 2020 and faces several Democratic primary challengers.
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Read her complete statement below:
I sincerely thank the many people who have reached out in support after my accident last week. The fall was serious, but with physical therapy I will fully recover. I do, however, have another challenge I must face, which was the underlying cause of my fall. Beginning next week, I will receive treatment that I have struggled to ask for, to treat my alcohol dependence.
I am finally seeking this help after struggling to do so in the past, and I am ready to admit that I, like countless other Americans, suffer from this disease. Hard work and determination — which have brought me success in life — have not been enough to win this battle. Other than being a wife, mother, and grandmother, the most important job in the world to me is representing my fellow Arizonans. I know I must get better in order to do my best in each of these roles.
With humility, I share this news with you. Throughout my time in public service, I have always said that you may not agree with me but you will know where I stand. I will continue to honor that commitment to transparency and communication. So while my immediate focus is on my rehabilitation and treatment, I am taking this important step forward with the full expectation and desire to return to work stronger and healthier and to continue serving my beloved Arizona.
I am grateful to the people of Arizona whom I am privileged to serve, my amazing staff who work tirelessly on your behalf, and my infinitely supportive and loving family.
During my absence, my congressional offices in Washington and Arizona will be fully operational, processing all constituent requests, meetings, activities and correspondence. My positions on all recorded votes will be submitted to the Congressional Record and made publicly available.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support.
This is a developing story. We will update if we get new information.