A combat veteran running for US Congress in Arizona suspended his campaign on Monday after a relapse and drug overdose.
“Today, I have suspended my campaign for the US House of Representatives and am seeking treatment for substance abuse disorder. I will fully cooperate with local authorities on any matters arising from my recent relapse and overdose,” Chris Taylor, a Safford, Arizona, city council member, told CNN in a statement. The Arizona Republic reported Monday that Taylor was suspending his campaign after a heroin overdose last week.
“I’m not going to hide from this. I’m not ashamed of what happened. I wish to sincerely apologize to the amazing people who have supported me,” Taylor said.
He added, “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.”
Taylor, a father of two, said, “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. I’m human and I have never pretended to be anything but.”
Taylor, who enlisted in the US Army in 2007 and served two combat tours in Afghanistan, has been open about his past addiction to drugs.
“The horrors I witnessed on the battlefield came home with me and like many veterans, I didn’t know how to cope. I sought help at the VA but fell victim to a government that forgot its promises. I began misusing prescriptions and developed an opioid addiction. It was a long road to recovery,” he said in a congressional campaign video.
Taylor also founded a nonprofit, Desert Eagle Addiction Recovery, to help individuals, including combat veterans, with drug addiction, according to his campaign website’s biography.
Taylor was seeking the Republican nomination for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which is currently held by Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran. O’Halleran won reelection in 2018 with about 54% of the vote.
This story has been updated with additional information.