Garrett to quit Congress, says he’s battling alcoholism

Alan Suderman
Associated Press

Richmond, Va. — Republican Congressman Thomas Garrett of Virginia announced Monday he will no longer seek re-election, saying he needs to work on recovering from alcoholism and renewing his commitment to his family.

Garrett made the announcement in a video recorded in Richmond. It was first reported by The Washington Post.

Garrett held a rambling news conference last week to deny reports he was thinking of dropping his bid for a second term. Days later, POLITICO reported allegations that he and his wife had used official staff to run errands and take care of their dog.

He said people who know him well are aware he’s an alcoholic, but making that public was a struggle. He also says “sometimes winning means knowing where your priorities should be.”

Garrett represents Virginia’s reliably Republican 5th district, which runs from Northern Virginia to the North Carolina line. Party officials will pick a replacement candidate in coming days.