Jason Kander, the Army veteran running as the Democratic candidate for mayor in Kansas City, Mo., announced Tuesday he was abandoning his campaign to deal with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"After 11 years of trying to outrun depression and PTSD symptoms, I have finally concluded that it’s faster than me," Kander wrote Tuesday in a blog post detailing how he had suicidal thoughts, despite recent professional successes. "That I have to stop running, turn around, and confront it."
I suffer from depression and have PTSD symptoms. After 11 years, I'm finally ready to do something about it: https://t.co/tfi8XaLcBj— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) October 2, 2018
Kander, who spent time in Afghanistan as an Army intelligence officer, explained that he had delayed seeking treatment because "so many men and women who served our country did so much more than me and were in so much more danger than I was on my four-month tour."
"I can’t have PTSD, I told myself, because I didn’t earn it," he wrote, adding that he will now receive regular help from the Department of Veterans Affairs in Kansas City.
Kander, who is president of Let America Vote, also announced Tuesday he would be stepping down from the political action organization he founded to combat perceived voter suppression and disenfranchisement efforts.
Kander, a former Missouri secretary of state, gained a national profile in 2016 when he almost defeated Republican Roy Blunt to represent their state in the U.S. Senate.
He was floated as a possible 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, especially after an advertisement he released of him assembling a rifle while blindfolded went viral.