Kansas City mayoral candidate Jason Kander drops out to seek PTSD treatment

Kansas City mayoral candidate Jason Kander drops out to seek PTSD treatment
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Jason Kander, a rising star in the Democratic Party who was considered a front-runner in the Kansas City, Mo., mayoral race dropped out on Tuesday, explaining in a statement that he will seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"To allow me to concentrate on my mental health, I’ve decided that I will not be running for mayor of Kansas City," Kander wrote in a Medium post.

Kander, an Afghanistan war veteran who previously mounted an unsuccessful campaign against incumbent Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntDemocrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills Democrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills Senate Democrats to try to force additional election security votes MORE (R-Mo.) in 2016, wrote that he felt like he has been running from symptoms of PTSD for years.

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"I wrote in my book that I was lucky to not have PTSD, I was just trying to convince myself. And I wasn’t sharing the full picture. I still have nightmares. I am depressed," Kander wrote in the post.

"So after 11 years of trying to outrun depression and PTSD symptoms, I have finally concluded that it’s faster than me. That I have to stop running, turn around, and confront it," Kander continued. "I finally went to the VA in Kansas City yesterday and have started the process to get help there regularly."

Kander, who also served as Missouri's secretary of state until last year, added that he will take a step back from Let America Vote, the organization he founded to battle GOP voter ID laws around the country, but that he plans to resume his political service upon the completion of his treatment.

"I’ll close by saying this isn’t goodbye. Once I work through my mental health challenges, I fully intend to be working shoulder to shoulder with all of you again," Kander wrote in the post.

Kander's exit from the Kansas City mayoral race leaves eight candidates battling in a nonpartisan primary campaign, with the primary election set for April 2019. The city's general election will be held two months later in June.