Arizona congressional candidate suspends campaign after drug overdose

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An Army veteran who was running for Congress in Arizona suspended his campaign Monday after he suffered a drug overdose. “I recently relapsed after having so many solid years in sobriety. I have to figure out where I went wrong,” Chris Taylor said in a statement to NBC News.

“Today, I have suspended my campaign for the US House of Representatives and am seeking treatment for substance abuse disorder,” Chris Taylor, a City Council member in Safford, told NBC News in a statement. “I will fully cooperate with local authorities on any matters arising from my recent relapse and overdose.”

Taylor’s decision to drop out of the Republican primary in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District was first reported by The Arizona Republic of Phoenix. Taylor, a married father of two who served two combat tours in Afghanistan, had struggled with opioid addiction in the past.

His campaign website says he founded a nonprofit in 2014 called Desert Eagle Addiction Recovery “dedicated to helping individuals, especially fellow combat veterans, suffering from drug addiction.”

A report by the National Bureau of Economic Research last year found that exposure to combat puts troops at substantial risk of abusing opioids and heroin.

“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,” he added.

Taylor was one of three Republicans hoping to challenge Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran in the fall.