Representative Tom Garrett made a surprising announcement Monday, admitting he's an alcoholic and dropping his run for reelection.
In a video first reported by the Washington Post, Garrett admitted he was an alcoholic. Garrett recorded the video at the monument to Barbara Johns and other Civil Rights figures in Richmond. At times choked up with emotion, Garrett said "I am a good man and I am an alcoholic." Garrett said it was the hardest statement he's ever had to make. "Sometimes winning means knowing where your priorities should be," Garrett said in the video, adding that his commitment to being "the best husband, father and friend" meant that he had to address the truth.
Garrett is in his first term representing the Fifth Congressional District, which stretches from the North Carolina state line northward to the outermost suburbs of Washington, DC. Last week, Garrett said he had been considering not running again, but then decided he would be a candidate in November. The following day, Politico published a story citing several unnamed aides who said Garrett and his wife treated staff like personal servants.
Republicans must quickly nominate a candidate to run in November. In a statement, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck said that process would start immediately. Democrats nominated Leslie Cockburn to run for the seat earlier this month.